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One year on

Today was the one year anniversary of my wife Makiko’s death.

Naturally a lot of emotions have been running through my mind, and daughter Seren’s. It doesn’t seem like a year, that day of her death will remained engraved on my memory for all time as if it were just a few days ago. I can’t believe I’ve been away from Japan so long, our present existence still feels so temporary, as we’re still in a little apartment in a provincial corner of the UK. The anniversary made us think not only of the memory of my wife, but also our present situation and what we’ve achieved, or not achieved in this year of trauma and change. We seem to have reached a level, another chapter seems to be drawing to a close, it always appears as if Seren and I are crossing thresholds, yet progress remains very very slow. As someone said to me recently, you know you’re alive, but you’re not really living, merely going through the motions. I wonder how much longer this emptiness will go on.

I intended to do something special today in memory of Maki, though there’s little in our environment that reminds us of her, most of her personal items were taken by her family, leaving us with photos and not a lot more. Unfortunately I’ve caught a cold off Seren which has knocked me for six, I could barely get up this morning. Nevertheless we needed to shake ourselves out of the stifling mood and get out of the flat, so we decided to go shopping for clothes for Seren, something that we used to do regularly as a family in Japan. Through that I felt that Maki was somehow once more with us, it was in it’s own way a fitting memory. On the train to and back from Sutton Coldfield Seren and I helped each other think up children’s stories, something very special seemed to be happening, though it’s only the two of us, I felt I had the strength of family we had when Maki was alive too.

Whether her spirit was there with us I don’t know, but I’m sure she was somehow watching. Bless you Maki.

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