The Natural Order of Life


0B00FABF-EDA8-4712-A6EF-DAE5F5DC8C2CA friend from work sent me the following story: “ A wealthy man asked Zen Master Sengai to create a work of calligraphy for him. The following was the calligraphy:

Father Dies

Son Dies

Grandson Dies

The wealthy man was upset because he wanted something auspicious to be written – not this sad script.

Sengai said If your sons were to die before you, or if your grandsons were to die before your sons, you would be extremely unhappy. He went on to ask this wealthy man, if his family lived generation after generation and died according to this order, what would be more auspicious than that?

The meaning of auspicious means “conducive to success and favorable”, isn’t that what we all hope for in our lives?

I have been watching a robin family outside of our window. A few days ago, three tiny baby robins emerged from their beautiful blue shells. Tiny beaks can be seen peeking out of the nest when mom brings back the worms to nourish her  babies.

As parents, we bring our babies into this world with the full intention to nurture, nourish, and to protect them, but then there comes a time when we must allow our children to mature – to fly independently. We have to trust that we have done our best to teach them the knowledge and skills to live a full life where they can soar with ease, purpose and joy.

Unfortunately, sometimes the natural order of Life and Death follows an unnatural order. This just happened in our family again this past week when my niece died, and now her parents and the rest of our family are trying to make sense of why another parent has to grieve the death of his/her child.


As a Life Coach, a healing guide, and a minister who specializes in helping people during their grief journey, I usually have the words that flow with ease – words of comfort and love. However, when the unnatural order of life and death falls upon my own family, my words feel inadequate and fail me.

My friend Jill’s wise words are settling within me, words that spoke of blessing my niece for offering all who knew her this “deep opportunity to explore their Faith”. Maybe that is why the natural order of life and death sometimes goes awry – giving us who grieve an opportunity to explore our Faith.

Faith that there is something more…  that divine order sometimes has to trump the natural order of life to allow a much greater, more beautiful purpose to unfold.

As my friend said about my niece, “she did her job well”, and I truly believe that her life and her physical death will unveil a much greater meaning in the months and years to come.

To all of you who feel lost and broken-hearted because your beloved child, spouse, mother, father, sister or brother has died, know that you are never alone and you are deeply loved.



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