Day 9- If You Love You Will Suffer

Yesterday was Shayna’s celebration where 500-700 people gathered to celebrate the life of an amazing girl. The more I reflect on Shayna, the more I realize how blessed I am to have had her choose me as her Daddy.

I went to bed with my heart full from all the support given to me, but when I woke up this morning, that joy was gone, replaced by the grief, the tears, the suffering.

I have studied Buddhism to a certain extent.  The Buddha teaches us in the Four Noble Truths there will be suffering.  He teaches us the cause of suffering.  He teaches us the remedy for suffering.  In the 8 fold path, he teaches us how to avoid or at least minimize suffering. 

Simply put, we suffer because we desire what we cannot have. We desire an outcome that is beyond our control. If we can eliminate that desire, we can eliminate suffering. Non-attachement is what we want to achieve. Equanimity is the goal. That makes sense, except when it comes to love.

If you love, you will suffer. The more you love, the more you will suffer. The deeper you love, the deeper you will suffer. These truths are as true as the truths the Buddha gave us.

I have tried to free myself of clinging, to avoid suffering.  But, I chose to allow myself one indulgence, one exception when it comes to clinging/desiring. That exception was my family. My girls, including Ty, I allowed myself to cling to with every fiber of my being. I planned to precede them in death, so this was a pretty good gamble on my part.  God had other plans.

Some have told me there is a kind of love without attachment. The first person to tell me this is a single guy with no children.  OK.  Right.  The second person is a mother, but when I asked her if she could lose one of her children without pain, she admitted she could not.  Yes, intellectually if I know Shayna is in a better place, I should be happy for her. I should not suffer. I should want what is best for her.  Isn’t that what a good Daddy wants?  Maybe, but not this Daddy.

I loved greatly. Thus, I suffer. Greatly. It’s the price I pay and the price I gladly pay for the attachment I had with Shayna. I’d do it all again in exactly the same way, Buddha.

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