October 5, 2011 the world lost a wonderful woman. October 5, 2011 two sons lost their mother. October 5, 2011 I lost my grandmother. I've had a few people over the years pass away, but nothing has hit me as hard as this. Up until the last 6 months, I never even thought of my grandma as old. She was always smiling, vibrant, and ready to take on the world. I can still hear her broken english, sweet little japanese voice in my mind. A sound I will never forget and hold close in my heart. This last week and a half has been a crazy rollercoaster of emotions. The night she passed away, I cried until my body wouldnt cry anymore. I felt the tears literally dry out. There was nothing left, I was almost too tired to cry. I woke up the next morning and almost...just almost...forgot what happened. It only took a couple minutes of laying there in bed to remember. The swollen eyes and pounding headache brought everything back rather quickly. I actually tried to go to work the next day, that didnt work out well. Sometime the day after she passed I decided that to contribute to her memorial service I wanted to put together a picture board to display. I also knew I needed to get out as soon as possible and see my dad. I felt like he needed me and for first time in my life I really needed him. I think the most complicated part was trying to explain everything to my two year old as simply and honestly as I could. I still dont think she grasped it but I did the best I could to tell her Grandma Nori went to be with Jesus and is living in heaven now and we wont be seeing her here anymore. The time we spent out there with my dad was great. Going through all the pictures was bittersweet. Joy and sorrow all at the same time, it felt great to do that for my Obason.
One thing I hold dear is that my little girl got to spend some time with her great-grandmother. Julia loved her Grandma Nori and was always happy to go spend time at her house.....maybe because Grandma Nori always had a little something for her when we got there;) It really wasnt until I had Julia that I was really excited and interested in knowing the Japanese part of my background. Maybe because I wanted to be able to share it with Julia and show her how proud she should be to be part Japanese. My Grandma was absolutely ecstatic to share everything with me and take me to these amazing Japanese stores that she loved to go too. Over the last few years she had bought Julia some pretty awesome Japanese dolls and a bunch of paper to teach me and her how to do the Origami, I still have the paper and am thinking I want to continue that for her and learn how to do it so that I can teach Julia:)
The service was absolutely beautiful. My grandma was a devoted buddhist and even though we didnt share the same religious views, it was amazing to see all the people she touched over the years. They have a tradition to honor a deceased where they burn incense and recite a prayer. I was absolutely blown away at the amount of people that went up and did this for my Obason, it was actually really beautiful. I've been to a few funerals over the years and this was first time I was part of the family sitting upfront. That was a really strange and surreal feeling. Standing upfront afterwards shaking hands and hugging people I may have never met but that knew who I was. People that shared with me what an amazing woman my obason was. People that told me how proud my obason was of me and how much she adored my little girl. It felt great but also left a hole in my heart because I knew at that moment I would never be able to hug her and tell her thank you for those kind words. All those wonderful things she showed me about the Japanese culture, she would no longer be able to show me more. But I know now that its up to me to continue it on my own. Its up to me now to make sure my daughter knows the beautiful culture she is a part of. I love you Obason and your memory is forever etched in my my heart!!!