49 Days

Hello friends,

Today marks the passage of 49 days since my father passed away. 49 isn’t a significant number to many people, but in some Buddhist traditions it is seen as the approximate period of time required for a being who has passed away to move on to it’s next life.

shrine family 600x800 5-24-13

I’ll admit that I’m uncertain whether this time period is accurate. Even rebirth in general requires a certain amount of faith — I’m no arahant so I can’t claim to know such things by direct knowledge. Further, some traditions see this “limbo” period differently so I don’t attach too much importance to the specifics of it because, quite frankly, I just don’t know. That said, I am observing a sort of “final mourning” today, applying the Uposatha precepts for a second time this week and dedicating this day to his memory and the contemplation of impermanence.

Shortly after Dad passed, I made an addition to my shrine (shown to the right) and each morning I have a moment dedicated to remembering him, my mother, and my grandfather. Maybe if helps them somehow, or maybe not, but it feels appropriate for me to honor them in some way.

In 49 days, it doesn’t seem like a lot has changed for me here, but I’m sure my sisters and stepmother have had their own challenges. There hasn’t been much progress on settling Dad’s estate, but I suppose I don’t really know how long this sort of thing is supposed to take so maybe this is normal.

I hope that you are well today and at peace with whatever challenges life brings you. I will write again soon.



  1. Bro, may you be well and happy! with metta

    1. Thank you, friend. And you also. 🙂

  2. Dennis Beyer · · Reply

    My brother-in-law happened to be sitting in the room as I read this, so I figured I’d ask him about your wondering about your dad’s estate, He said you can figure about 6 months on average for the estate to be settled entirely. Frankly I found this surprisingly long, but since when are the courts fast?

    1. Good point…

      Thanks Denny. At least I don’t have to feel like this is abnormal then.

      I hope you are well! Looking forward to us all getting together again sometime.

  3. nice tribute on your altar x

    1. Thank you for saying so, friend. 🙂

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