Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I was in mourning for my mother  and refraining from New Year greetings.

She passed away on 7th last month. Here, it is  believed to take 49 days for the dead souls to go to the next world under the Buddhist belief. During this period, the bereaved hold rites with Buddhist monk every seven days for their successful journeys.
It was over last week and the new life begins for me and for her as well.

I don't have a strong faith in Buddhism, though not against it. I myself felt that she had  left this world and reached heaven much earlier than she would be believed to. Actually five days later after she passed away, I heard a music box sound for a split second, which was not used for quite a long time, when I was at home. I felt it was Mother! She came here to say thanks and good bye to me! I could imagine her rising up and up embraced with lights.

           A raigo; where Amida Buddha on a purple cloud accompanied by 25
         bodhisattavas coming down to the dead to welcome them to the heaven (national treasure, 1300-1400)

She was born in Kumamoto in Kyushu and raised  in Osaka and studied at a medical school in Tokyo. There were not so many women  of her age to get a professional job when society  was not  open enough for them to live their own lives like much later years.  I heard from her that  her father, once a medical officer, was  a progressive person  and encouraged her to work hard regardless of  genders.
She got married and started practicing as a dentist  in a small village, where  I was born.  She got  quite a lot of  culture-shock to live in such a closed community and sometimes missed the life in a big city.

Due to the complication after an operation of lumbar spinal stenosis three years ago, she became unable to walk. She had to spend two years in the hospitals and one year in the nursing home.
She found it so hard to accept the reality at first but came to terms with it. Naturally she was good at witty remarks  and carefree and had a bit of child-like innocence.
These past three years, my father, two sisters and I took turns in visiting her every day. Like I wrote somewhere, those were the days  that got me closer to her and to confirm a stronger bond of sisterhood. How I was thankful that I have sisters to help each other.

It was an urgent hospitalization. The chronic renal failure and heart failure took their tolls on her. For the last 20 days, she had to struggle against sufferings to get an eternal peace. We attended her and struggled together with her till the last moment. When she quietly closed her eyelids  and stopped breathing, I said to her from the bottom of my heart, " Have a good rest"

Before  she was placed in the casket,  painfully bruised marks on her hands or arms caused by the drips were covered with bandage and got dressed in her favorite kimono, got shampooed, and got light makeup. All was done with grace and dignity. How beautiful and peaceful she looked!
Looking at her in the casket, I cried and cried ...and cried.
That night, my daughter sat beside her and read her a book which she believed would lead her beloved grandmother to the heaven.

On Sunday my husband and I paid a belated visit to Isonokami Shrine in Tenri. It was not bad to be there without crowds after the hustle and bustle of the New Year's holidays.

Usually on January 15th, they burn New Year's decorations or things like old good-luck charms and pray for the happiness and prosperity throughout the year. (at Isonokami Shrine in Tenri)


Somehow roosters have settled here and have had field
days. They became icon of this shrine.

Now everything seems new and fresh to me. Mom, thank you for everything you did for me. I'm sure I'll see you again when there comes the right time.

Thank you readers for stopping by and reading my blog. I really appreciate every kind word you gave me last year. I'm looking forward to visiting you.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...