You were the Buddha.
That’s what you’d told us when you’d gone to China and the children had gathered around you, this towering behemoth of a man with a round belly and an expansive smile.
When you were lying there, flat, stomach distended from post mortem gasses, I tried to be sad at your loss. I have never grieved the way I feel I should, and so I thought of the Buddha. I rubbed your belly, “for luck” I said, and for me, that was the first part of letting go.
— ptkh 010314