Whoever you are: the story

Day after Christmas, 2009.  She doesn’t usually wake me in the middle of the night, especially to ask for food.  She’s been having a lot of pain lately.  Sleeping fitfully.  The other night she woke me to ask for a cracker. Then a glass of water. As I was helping her lie back down, she looked into my eyes, intently, and said, “Whoever you are, I love you.” In the same doleful tone, she tells everyone who comes to visit, “I love you.”  If Gotama is right and there is no self, then who is dying?  Who hurts?  Who or what is gone when someone dies? There is not going to be much of “me” left when this is over, either.

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