I hope to live up to her love 祖母の愛に見合えますように

(Photo by Hiroyuki Kuma at Uchikoza, Ehime, Japan)

When we hit our pinky toe against a corner of the furniture, we curl up, focus on our breaths, and disperse the pain in our mind and body, right?

Well, that's what I did for two weeks in June 2020 because my grandmother passed away.

A solid rock in my heart fell off, and there was void. When I moved, the wind blew in the hole, and it hurt. I observed myself going through this human experience called grief.

I wanted to be happy for her, for she had lived a full life, and I knew that she is now everywhere, and I can "see" her anytime. But sadness was sadness, and it had to be experienced.

As sad as I was, I was grateful for the experience as it pushed my envelope. Perhaps, it will make me better at relating to others who lost their loved ones. Perhaps, it will add a new color to my "life palette" and let me draw a new "painting."

I knew she would go someday as she was 96 years old.

In January 2020, when I saw her in Japan, I felt that her "candle" inside her was getting shorter and dimmer. I had a slight notion that it might become the last time I see her, so I hugged her and told her, "Grandma, thank you for passing your life onto me. Thank you for loving me." I’ve done it for the past ten years each time I left Japan, but I did it again with all my sincerity. 

So, I thought I had prepared myself for the finality, but when I found it out from my dad, my mind froze for a second, and it took me some time to grok what it meant.

She went while she was cleaning onions she had harvested. She was doing something she loved until the very end while she lived by herself in Japan's rural mountain. She was truly my role model and hero.

Last year, I allowed myself to take time to come to terms with her death.

Now, when I cry, it's not due to the sadness of not being able to hug her in the three-dimensional form. It is due to overwhelming appreciation toward her - the life she has passed on to me and the love she has poured over me. 

I hope to live up to her love.


(Grandma and me age 2)













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