Today we're remembering the earthquake in Japan one year ago. We were there - Scott, Mike, and I - visiting my brother and his family. The memories are vivid, and yet, also, cloudy, as if it were all a dream. Or rather, a nightmare.
As I've read endless tributes, essays, and articles, and watched news stores and videos about the one-year anniversary, this one stands out as the most heart wrenching and yet honest report of what happened and what has happened since. It's a BBC Documentary with children as narrators. It's well worth the hour.
I've been reading a blog written by an American woman living in Japan with her husband's Japanese family. She wrote something that brought clarity for me of the reasons for the exhaustive, continual searching for bodies by family members that you'll see in the video. The explanation:
"Buddhists believe that these souls are trapped, still bound to the physical world and unable to begin the journey to Paradise. They remain in this state until their bodies are discovered, their bones are cremated, and the ashes laid to rest in an urn in the family grave, which is the gateway into the spirit world."