"I don't call myself a Buddhist, I told my husband. "I'm Buddhist-ish." I gave a little hand waggle on the "ish," indicating so-so.
My husband laughed. "Buddhish."
So how did an agnostic emergency doctor find Buddhism, or even Buddhism lite, in the first place?
I had just started practicing medicine while pregnant with my first child. Then my life shattered. At 20 weeks, I delivered a stillborn baby girl.
Winston Churchill said, “If you are going through hell, keep going.”
I was in hell. I kept going. But I needed guidance.
I felt like a mother, but not a mother. I was a doctor, but suddenly not a doctor who was practicing. I was agnostic, so I couldn't even pretend my baby was in heaven.
I was just messed up.
A local priest listened to my story and said, "You need to forgive yourself, and I can't help you with that." He paused and added, "I knew a man who accidentally ran over his three-year-old daughter. He had to forgive himself. But he was the one who had to do it."
Now I had a goal. Forgiveness. But how should I achieve it? I knew it wasn't like getting an A on a test, which was much easier for me.
I rummaged through the grief and self-help shelves at the local library and stumbled into Buddhism.
This is the story of how Buddhism was one of my crutches on the path to forgiveness.
About Melissa Yuan-Innes
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Published December 8, 2011
by Olo Books.
Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality.