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.
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.