When I was at school I used to deliver papers early each morning. I lived by the beach, and at a certain time of year, I would get to a point on my round right at the point when the sun was rising, and I could watch it from the top of a tall cliff. I loved these moments. The quite morning darkness and the warm glow of the sun peaking over the horizon. After a few minutes, the intensity of this beautiful would spread as daylight filled the sky. I would similarly watch sunsets from the beach as well, marvelling at the extraordinary sight coming and going with effortless ease.
A few years later, I went back to the water, sometimes to gain perspective on life. And it would strike me how the forces of life just move on. I would look at the clouds drifting across the sky. Thoughts are just like these. And in difficult times I would console myself seeing all thoughts and conditions as transitory, whether we experience them as painful or beautiful or something else in between. This is the nature of life, and change is the only true constant.
We even know now that everything we experience with our senses has already taken place. This is especially evident when we look at the stars. For many, the light which comes to us has taken millions or billions of years to get to us. We literally see the past. In our immediate environment this is also true, but the separation is not nearly as great. We receive sound, and light from local sources within seconds, or less. What is true then, is that by the time we perceive something it has already changed state.
Being mindful of this, allows us to appreciate the moment without clinging or avoiding. The beautiful dawn will pass as surely as the new born will mature. So too, the pain of loss will pass as time and life march on.