Babies have been rearing their little heads in my life recently — metaphorically and otherwise. Two weeks ago someone contacted me to arrange a Jizo ceremony* for friends who’d had a miscarriage and wanted to honour and let go of their little one. Last night, while passing a towel to ~P~ as she stepped out of the shower, I said something about “thirty years from now” to which she replied, “I’ll be well into menopause and you’ll be dead.” No babies for us, alas. Then this morning after a breakfast of French toast, ~C~ spoke of her own miscarriage four years ago, one that even her parents don’t know about.
Tears come easily. My friend’s loss, kept as a secret. The couple who’ll soon gather at our zendo to sew red garments in remembrance. And the realization that I’ll never be a father and a startling reminder of old age and missed opportunities.
* This old post describes a previous Jizo ceremony I did. I’ll soon be offering a similar one in Victoria BC for anyone who’s lost anyone, not just babies. My teacher Jan Chozen Bays MD is the author of the definitive Jizo Bodhisattva: modern healing and traditional Buddhist practice. She regularly offers Jizo ceremonies at Great Vow Zen Monastery in Oregon. image: http://blogs.babycenter.com