March 2021

10 Years

March 11th. It's now 10 years since the massive earthquake and tsunami had hit Japan.
Because of covid, memorials have had to be limited and I decided to stay at home and watch a livestream ceremony held at our local shrine in Kamakura.

I was hoping to go to Kamaishi, one of the places which was hard hit, which I had gone to several times for volunteer work for the 10th anniversary but decided it was not a good idea as we're still in the midst of this pandemic here in Japan.

Every TV channel was showing programmes related to the earthquake and tsunami and I happened to watch one whilst eating breakfast. It was about a young couple who had lost their 3 children. They talked how they almost separated as the pain was too great, how the wife would cry and yell at her husband everyday, blaming him for not being able to save them. After a year she started to withdraw within herself and would never leave the house. She said it was too painful to even look at the photo (which was found in the rubble) of her children as it reminded her of happy times which would never come back again. The husband is a builder/carpenter and everyday he would go to work and take it day by day. He started to do volunteer work, visiting schools and worked with children. He wondered whether it was better for both of them to separate but he decided not to as he thought that their children would be sad if they did. 3 years pass and one day the wife is able to see for the first time how her husband is busily filling his days with work, crying and working at the same time, and how she was doing nothing. She gradually is able to live her life again and in the end of the programme showed how she was a part of the community, laughing with friends, laughing with her husband.
If I had met her in the street I would have not known what pain they had gone through.
And this is just one single story. So many people lost someone in that tsunami and if they hadn't they have had to live with the guilt of not losing anyone.

It's a been a very sad day.
10 years. We really mustn't forget how 3/11 had impacted so many lives.