Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Training For Goodbye...Tobi Knight

A couple of days ago I discovered that a friend of mine had died. It was a strange occurrence to be sure, she had been on my mind strongly for a couple of days, it seemed I heard her voice in my head. I had a fleeting thought that she was dead, but "reality" convinced me to put that thought to the side; I had no concrete reason to believe such a thing.

I sent her an email which bounced back, I called both cell and home numbers for her, they were disconnected; basically all I needed was confirmation at this point. I "Googled" her... and brought up her obituary.

I wasn't really shocked, but it hit me rather hard nonetheless. I had last seen her in August when she had come to Las Vegas for a surprise party for a friend. She looked totally beautiful and healthy, completely belying the fact that she had cancer. We had a great time, I drove her around town doing the tourist bit. She excitedly snapped her camera phone out of the car window at all the sights and entertained the idea of moving here.

We had lunch at the Red Rock Casino and talked about everything under the sun. Being with her was fun and easy, and even though we didn't see each other or talk often, when we did it was if no time had passed at all.

Tobi and I met through our mutual practice of Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism. Tobi was a woman of strong faith and whenever she had a problem, her Buddhist practice was the first place she turned to find a solution. She was charming and amusing and a great person to have as a friend, and it goes without saying, but I will, that I will miss her.

The obituary I read said that Tobi had been "fighting cancer and lost her battle". I don't think she lost anything, Tobi died on December 26th, the day after Christmas, in her sleep. In our practice we speak of a "good death"and it seems that is what Tobi had.

Goodbye my dear friend, thank you for all of things you taught me and the great times we had. I'll be chanting for you, Nam myoho renge kyo.