The tagline of ‘Pet Semetary’ says, ‘Sometimes dead is better.’ And sometimes, this needs to be reminded. Thus the ‘revival’ of the 1989 movie with the 2019 remake? The idea of the beloved departed returning might seem enticing at first. But be careful of what you wish for… in detail. What if the return is not as a ghost without a corporeal form, but the reverse? What if the return is with the body… but with a different ‘ghost’ in the form? Think a semi-zombified version of someone you miss, be it a human or animal (i.e. pet), but with someone else in ‘mind’.
The above seems so unnatural that it is… supernatural. Such resurrections are not possible beyond horror fiction though. What natural is impermanence of this physical life, though the spiritual life can seamlessly go on, provided that the past is not forgotten. With rebirth in Pure Land, all past lives will be recollected. Otherwise, unless highly spiritually accomplished, all memories will simply get buried and ‘lost’… till one is more spiritually accomplished later, or if Pure Land is reached first.
What is true love? It is not to cling on to no end. It is to accompany, to treasure each other when alive… and give the best goodbye with timely spiritual guidance. It is to guide to the best rebirth possible – as above, in Pure Land, since Buddhahood is too far away for now. True love is not to be attached to the beloved’s once beautiful form now gone. Sometimes, dead is better, when there is a better rebirth possible, without ailments that plague the ageing and failing body. Not ready to say goodbye? Why not practise to reach Pure Land too, for the best spiritual reunion there?