Friday, March 2, 2018

Growing old in Japan

Tokyo Times posted this photo collection of Japan's aging population.

A Generation in Japan Faces a Lonely Death, written by Norimitsu Onishi, is one of the best pieces I've read in a long time.

She had been lonely every day for the past quarter of a century, she said, ever since her daughter and husband had died of cancer, three months apart. Mrs. Ito still had a stepdaughter, but they had grown apart over the decades, exchanging New Year’s cards or occasional greetings on holidays.

So Mrs. Ito asked a neighbor in the opposite building for a favor. Could she, once a day, look across the greenery separating their apartments and gaze up at Mrs. Ito’s window?

Every evening around 6 p.m., before retiring for the night, Mrs. Ito closed the paper screen in the window. Then in the morning, after her alarm woke her at 5:40 a.m., she slid the screen back open.

“If it’s closed,” Mrs. Ito told her neighbor, “it means I’ve died.”

These pieces resonate with me. My parents aren't getting younger, but I want them to live a joyful life. After all, isn't the best yet to come?


Blogger Unknown said...

Yes, the best is yet to come. And one of the worst reasons for loneliness is to survive all your children, I suppose. So the best thing you can do is to go on living. :-)

Tue Mar 06, 09:30:00 PM GMT+8  

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