Okay so I’ve never been a spiritual person but since my father died everything changed for me. We had to have a funeral with a priest and everything because his family are strict Catholics and they wouldn’t have had it any other way. I rolled my eyes when the priest read the sermon at the mass but that was the last time I eschewed religion. Actually I had a spiritual awakening on the day of my father’s funeral.
Funerals in Perth range from staid sombre affairs to vibrant quirky rituals. In my father’s case, I was devastated and also dreading the whole thing because of how bleak it was and also because I wasn’t particularly religious and couldn’t be bothered with the whole rigmarole. As I was standing there listening to the priest do his thing, I was watching my father’s alien pasty corpse and then I saw his eye twitch. I knew it was his last goodbye, a wink. At that moment, I looked out the window, quite absentmindedly. The next thing I saw totally shocked me. It was an owl flying past in the middle of the day on a thirty degree scorcher in Perth. Not only do we not see many owls in this area but it was the middle of the day. I knew that my dad had been reincarnated into a wise owl.
Later I told the Perth based funeral directors, they were deeply intrigued but not surprised. The told me about the Buddhist beliefs. Actually, reincarnation is hell. It means you’re bound to the earthly life and you haven’t reached nirvana or ended the cycle of suffering.
Poor old dad, he got reincarnated into a lower life form, even if it is a beautiful one. But then again, we can’t be too anthropocentric in our attitudes. Animals may have an intelligence that we’re not even aware of, knowledges that we can’t even fathom.