Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Ogiichan


My grandfather just passed away.

He died on the bathroom floor, my Ogiichan, that’s Japanese for grandfather. My Obaachan, that’s Japanese for grandmother, went to find him in the house because he hadn’t come back in to the room for a while. Obaachan found him on the bathroom floor. He’d collapsed. They called the ambulance but when they tried to resuscitate him he was already dead.

I was really close to Ogiichan. We had the same laugh. And once he said to me when we were silently sat alone together in the living room that ‘When Rimika is in the house flowers bloom’. My name is Rimika.

It really flares up at you death; it makes you think about life. All the things that I’d wanted to believe are not true. Like I don’t want to grow up so I don’t have to. Well no, you don’t have to but it’s inevitable. You will grow old. Time stands still for no man, as someone important once said.

What do you do when someone dies? It’s so irreversible. And life so irreverent, that you can walk to a bathroom and never return. What is that? It’s fucking ridiculous that’s what. Imagine knowing someone for the whole of your life and then they're no longer there and that’s a fact. One minute they exist the next they don’t. It’s not important why or how just that it is. Truth. Truth can change all the time we just aren't aware or want to think about it, because if we did it would destabilise you. Everything you know could alter in a blink.

This was one of his favourite poems and I’ll translate it the best I can in Ogiichan’s memory:



ただいるだけで

あなたがそこに
ただいるだけで
その場の空気が
あかるくなる

あなたがそこに
ただいるだけで
みんなのこころが
やすらぐ

そんな
あなたにわたしも
なりたい






Just By Being There


Just by you

Being there

The air of the place

Becomes brighter



Just by you

Being there

All hearts

Feel at ease



Like you

I want to become

Like that