Grandmother

March 17, 2011

My grandmother Mie, passed away an hour ago in a hospital bed in Fukushima.  This post marks the time.

I don’t know how to grief anymore.

Advertisements

Japan

March 13, 2011

I needed to call Tokyo with some pressing business, but just couldn’t get through.  As I put down the receiver after having tried for the umpteenth time, my mother called me on my mobile – déjà vu – I had just arrived in the morning at the recreation room at the control facility in Moto Honda da Amazonia in Brazil on Sept 11, 2001, and had stood motionless, mouth agape, at the incredible images coming from the tv screen.

The epicenter of the 9.0 (upgraded) magnitude earthquake lies just 130km off the coast of Fukushima & Miyagi. far enough & deep enough to set an avalanche of deadly tidal waves in motion. We watched in horror as the water advanced and swallowed up towns and rice fields, NHK feeding live commentary and images, most dramatically from the vantage of helicoptors.   

My relatives in Japan live in Matsukawa, a suburb of Fukushima City, mercifully located far from the coast but however not spared the tremors.  It took some time for us to finally get the word that everyone was ok, though my aunt recounted that she was in the hospital already with my ailing grandmother and when the earth shook she threw herself onto my grandma to shield her, while she held on to the violently shaking IV drip.  Our traditional wooden house was intact, but around us, the newer buildings made of brick and mortar saw significant damage, or at worst, collapsed.

For the moment, there is reprieve, but aftershocks are still felt. There is warning of an impending 7.0 coming soon.