Sakura: An Easter story

IkomaSan

My friend, you died on Easter morning.

We all knew it would happen sometime soon. But still it seemed sudden.

My grandfather also died during Easter weekend, many years ago. Good Friday, in fact. I was 10. We had to have the wake and funeral right away. The Church said they wouldn’t allow him to be buried on Easter Sunday.

My mother told us that Grandpa went straight to Heaven, because he died on Good Friday. That we would one day see him again.

Terry, you died on April 1st. But it was no Fool’s. It was Easter. You were sleeping, and did not wake.

Easter afternoon, I went with my daughters to the park. Children played. Parents talked and ate sandwiches. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom. Past peak, just a little. The sky was a perfect blue, the temperature mild. Bumblebees chased each other among the pink-covered tree branches. Spring birds chirped and looked for a place to nest. Overhead, an airplane coming in for a landing.

It doesn’t seem fair. You are not here.

I’m supposed to do research today. From tomorrow, prepare for classes. New students will arrive, and I need to meet them. Friday, the first class.

But these students will never know you, Terry. From you, I learned the art of communication, presenting, editing, organizing. Being open was never my strong point, but you always gave an ear (and a heart) to everyone.

I still hear your voice. Many dinners and drinks, many stories and long conversations. Politics and religion. Teaching and learning. Relationships and family. You were my teacher. My co-author. My brother.

The wind picks up. Scattered blossoms flutter. Bees buzz. Another airplane. A tennis ball thwack. Students laugh.

The world is an emptier place without you, my friend. But how much sadder, how poorer would it be, had you never been.

Rest in peace, Terry. We will meet again, someday.

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