In the early days of my practice I knew an extremely strong member. I could not walk in her neighborhood without smelling the incense of her daimoku sessions. Her kitchen cabinets were filled with large jars full of incense dust.
She was hit by a car and died instantly. I experienced strong cognitive dissonance. Why did she die? Where were the Buddhist gods? If such a strong young member could die like that, what chance did I have?
I went to her funeral. The room was packed. Her casket was open. Above the casket, her Gohonzon was enshrined. We were all chanting powerful, tearful daimoku. Her body looked peaceful and bright. Even in death she had a daimoku glow!!! As I looked at her face, I had a strong sense that she was not in her body.
Where was she?
I looked up at her Gohonzon and there I could see her dancing through the stars, across the universe.