I had planned to post about sakura blossom season here in Tokyo and all things "hanami", but a couple of things happened recently that kind of detoured that line of thought.
Last week, as I was idling my way through the dark forest of Facebook (is there any other way?) a former colleague of mine who was online, told me that one guy at the office had died very unexpectedly during a business trip to Moscow. The guy in question (the dead guy) was a 60-something, rather odd character, perpetually in a hurry (this may have had to do with his demise, courtesy of a heart attack) and perpetually stealing from everybody's fruit basket when he thought nobody was watching (we knew it was him). He had grown up kids, about my age or older, and a properly much younger Russian girlfriend (as you do). Anyway, the news about his death really struck me as this guy was the last person from the company I met before returning to Tokyo this January. At that time he was en route to Moscow and we all shared the same plane to Frankfurt. We chatted a bit in the airport about work, I introduced Mr M and Bibu to him, we said our hurried goodbyes when people started to board the plane, and that was it.
Now this guy is dead.
On another unrelated piece of news, one of the teachers at Bibu's daycare said her goodbyes last week, as she was returning to the Netherlands, where she is from, in order to follow some treatment for an unspecified illness, which could most likelly be depression, althought the "d" word was never mentioned. This lady had moved to Tokyo 15 years ago, to help raise her sister's daughter and had worked non-stop since then, taking little holidays and generally putting other people's needs before her, I think. So her mum came to Tokyo to take her back and it's not very clear when or whether she will be back.
These two unrelated events have been humming in my mind for a few days already. About this dead guy, I keep thinking, did he know, back in January, that he had only three months to live? How did he live those last three months? Did he live them in the midst of petty, everyday stuff, driving his car and checking emails and going to the supermarket and cleaning under his nails and clipping the hairs in this nostrils? And the teacher, does she want to be back in Europe? How is it to leave behind a life of 15 years and go back to a country that has not been your "home" for an eternity?
I am thinking about this as spring in Tokyo finally makes its way forward, sashaying its delicate frame through the falling petals of the cherry trees.