Cross-posting the greeting from this month’s edition of my newsletter, since it is of personal significance.
The last day of June. A Real Feel™️ of 42 degrees celsius. Not even summer yet. But things started to settle down this month. We took the kids to Universal Studios Japan. Summer Camp started. Screen time decreased. I went out for coffees with friends, old and new, after a couple months of just being in the house with the kids. There was barely a rainy season and the heat and humidity started to crank up. It was still “crisis mode,” but with a modicum of control.
Yesterday it all changed.
A morning txt and my wife was off on her bike to my father-in-law’s apartment, a five minute ride away. Upon arrival she called the ambulance then messaged me instructions to get the hospital bag. I grabbed the kit and headed out into the sweltering heat, searching frantically for a taxi. It was 11:59 when I arrived at the hospital entrance, only to be told to stay outside. They called it at 12:02.
Done. There. The thing we had come to do, packing up and moving across the ocean to spend the remaining months and moments of his life together — we did it. It is over.
Now comes the next chapter. Last night he laid in state while we stayed up through the night at the funeral home ensuring that the candle which lights the way to the other side stayed lit. Japanese funerals are a lengthy affair, so this process will take over our life for the next few days. Then we move into taking care of the estate, a process that will take at least a few months.
The doctors said we could expect only a couple more months maximum. He had a bad heart, a stent in his brain, and the creeping stage 4 stomach cancer. No one could predict which of those time bombs would go first. But I think he had a good few last weeks. And he passed quickly, which is what he wanted.
It was a cloudless, azure sky.
南無阿弥陀仏 🙏 Namu Amida Butsu