Definition of True Happiness, Learned from Mother Teresa

New York, N.Y. On the second day, I went to Mother’s orphanage. Hundreds of children run and gathered around mey. so that they could be held  They want a skin ship. I never held so many children in such a short time, I never carried a spoon to a small tiny mouths that were desperately opened like a lot of birds , I was drenched and dragged my feet to my room,  but I was very happy. I returned to the room with a feeling of deep satisfaction and appreciation..

To “the house of people waiting for death”

On the last day, I went to the hospice “the house of people waiting for death” where the desperate. people were. Mother ‘s truck goes around Calcutta, brings people who are in desperately in trouble or people who have become very sick, and brings it to the facility. In the evening, just as I was about to leave, the truck came into the gate and I was handed over to my hands the person they brought. I was so surprised at the weight of the person.  It was only a baby ‘s weight, so light!”

Nursing a cancer patient

That person had  breast cancer and dying.. She was so thin, thinner with only on bones and skin, and the cloth worn on it was stacked on to the bone. dreadful. The feet were bare  and the skin ,hard like an elephant’s foot because it was barefoot for many years, were clinging to the bone’. The right breast was greatly distorted and ruptured, the lump  was peeling off from the chest, and a cancer with a reddish black, fist size has protruded to outside. The tumor was too big and the body was twisted, bends, She was groaning in pain It was my first time to see such a raw cancer, and it was my first time to see someone who was about to die, so my heart also beat fast.

At this time, no doctor was there, I walked about looking for a bed, but I finally found one and lay her body  on the bed. I washed the body first and gave water. There was something like porridge, so I tried to give it, but she did not accept it. Because she could not sleep straight, I let her cancer side lie down., I could  not do anything,moe. so I prayed for pain to relieve I caressed her body and gave gentle masages . Several hours have passed. Then the crying groaning voice became smaller little by little. She cried saying something all the time, so I also repeatedly cried,  saying the same words repeatedly

We held hands and wept tears together.. When I asked later, that word she was murmured  was the meaning of “Thank you” in the words of the people in Dalit’s status (the class that is considered the lowest in the Indian class system). As I was rubbing all the time, pain seemed to have pulled from a certain moment so quickly  and she entered into a deep sleep, I lay down on the floor and slept also.

To die happily

The next morning When I saw her earlier,  the face that was distorted ugly with pain ,was peaceful and it made me feel sp happy and calm.. The next day is the day I was going return to  New York, I left her quietly.. SHe died after a couple of days, but she died peacefully happily with a very peaceful face, a letter of thanks came from Mother’s office.Mother taught, “Here in our place, they die a very precious death.” “It is quite different from dying while suffering in a horrible form at the roadside,  and die while saying thank you, receiving everyone’s love at these facilities,” Mother explained. It is wonderful to die with a deep gratitude feeling to others.

I thought about “ what happiness is” .1) Being healthy. 2)To have family and friends  to love. 3)Also that who can love themselves. 4)To have food. 5)To have a place to live.6) Being not in trouble with money.7) Mind is peaceful. When I thought of this person, she did not have any one of them. And yet, she was happy and peaceful  without feeling even pain and suffering She became peaceful, Why is this posible?? It is because she felt tremendously THANKFUL. I think The core of Human being’s peace and happiness comes from Gratitude.. It is clear that she was really thankful   The only condition that can make true happiness is thankfulness. This is a wonderful aspect given only to humans.

Everyone in Japan says that they are thankful   But who had this kind of life experiences!. , but I was deeply thankful for Mother Teresa  who taught me and gave me this real experience, My tears did not stop. Certainly the lady was happiness at the end.  Even the pain was gone. She passed away but became my lifetime teacher.

Soon afterwards, I heard that Mother herself died. It was autumn of 1997. I am deeply grateful that I am  so lucky person how Mother, and the lady who taught me such important things.

Originally published as Vol. 21 in Weekly Biz, April 7, 2018; translated by Jim Luce.

See: Dr. Kazuko Hillyer Tatsumura Column in Japan’s Weekly Biz



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