Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Funeral

Day 285: Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cold morning. No time to write Ian and Yuki before the ceremony. Can’t bring myself to do it either…

On the way back home after the cremation, I noticed that the temple was near my friend’s house. We also passed a fancy donut shop and stopped. My friend and Hayato’s mom went to buy some while Hayato’s dad and I stood by the running car for some fresh air.

When we arrived back to Hatagaya, our landlord’s son was outside and wanted to pay his respects, so I quickly made an altar for Willy in the kitchen where she usually slept. After he burned some incense and prayed, he shyly asked me if he could have a picture of Willy (which I had already planned on giving him as well as for the other neighbors later).

For lunch, we had Italian, and after I ate carbonara pasta and six pieces of bread, I got real sleepy from not sleeping the night before and could barely open my eyes. On the way out, Hayato’s parents paid. My friend and I took a two-hour nap, and then printed photos for the neighbors in the upstairs office. Afterwards I sent my friend off to catch her train in Shinjuku, and then bought some frames.

When I got back home to Hatagaya, I gave everyone their photos. Akimoto-san came by afterwards to pay his respects. After he did, I made him some tea and he told me that one of his cats had died in October as well. At that moment, I decided to show him Barnacles, which I had always worried what he and the other neighbors would think if they had ever found out, but he seemed to like it.
When we came across a photo of Ian and Willy together (the photo of the double chin), he said that Ian would be heartbroken, which I totally agreed, and then we discussed whether to tell my roommates about it now or after Christmas so it wouldn’t ruin their holidays, but finally decided that it was better not to wait.

While we were looking at T.B., Akimoto-san also mentioned that he and Otsubo-san had never seen Willy sleeping before, and it was nice to see this other side of her. It was then that I realized that I should still do the Willy exhibition that had been canceled before, but, this time, just a private one in front of my house for the people in the neighborhood because after last night, I could see how much she affected everyone.

Eventually after Akimoto-san had left and I was finally alone for the first time since Willy’s death, I wrote Ian and Yuki a long letter and then took a shower. When I was done, they called me and were both crying. They were on some island in Mexico and were getting ready for their flight to America to spend Christmas with Ian’s family. Eventually we moved on to talking about other things and began to feel a little better and were even laughing. At the end of our conversation, they invited me to Yuki’s parent’s house in Fukuoka for New Years, which sounded very tempting.


  1. Very sorry about Willy. I've read all of TB in the past two days and this was the second post I read(after 7days). I read everything backwards and I loved seeing all the little bits of Willy through out, even with this sad news in mind.

    Anyways, just wanted to say that I've been totally captivated by TB. In a lot of ways, it expresses things that I've been trying to find ways to tell people about my own home. Thanks p

  2. Grace,
    I wonder how different it is to go through TB backwards... and if it works that way. (I guess it does).
    Thank you for taking the time to write as well as your sympathies. I am happy u enjoy my little stories and my friends.