A grieving mother approached Buddha, carrying the body of her dead child in her arms. She begged him, I know you can bring him back to life. Buddha replied, Death is inevitable; I cannot restore his life. The woman was devastated, and was not prepared to accept this answer. Seeing her pain, Buddha said, I can bring your child back to life, but only if you bring me mustard seeds from a person who has never had a death in his family.
Hearing these words, a hope was awakened within the grieving mother’s heart. Immediately she rushed out to beg. She knocked at the first door and asked for some mustard seeds. The middle-aged lady answering the door was very kind and asked her to wait a moment. The woman asked, There has not been a death in your family, has there? The lady started crying and said, Six months ago my husband died in his sleep. The mother was disappointed and she moved on.
The second person she approached was a young man, who said that his grandfather had passed away only a few days earlier. The third was an old woman whose grown up son and daughter-in-law had been killed in an accident. One after the other, the woman found that someone or the other had died in every family.
By the time the woman returned to Buddha, she had made peace with her son’s death. She had accepted the inevitable. We should too.