Monday, April 28, 2014

My Mom

10 days after I returned back to Boston from Tokyo, my Mom passed away.
My dad, brother and uncle were by her side when she passed away.
I immediately made ticket reservations and this time flew back with my wife to attend her funeral.

Unlike the first trip I made to go she her when she was in critical condition, I felt relaxed, calm and almost felt like a dream. In my mind I knew she had died but my heart told me that she was still alive for some strange reason.

At the Boston airport I sketched a Harley while waiting for our plane - time flies by quick when you have a good subject to sketch.
Harley @ Boston Airport

This trip was a direct Boston to Tokyo flight in the new Japan Airlines plane called the 787 Dreamliner.
Beautiful plane with so many delightful attention to the details made the trip go a lot faster.

Japan Airlines - 787 Dreamliner

Upon arriving at my parents house in Tokyo, I met up with my father and also my brother who I hadn't seen in 10 years. He had come from Kyoto with this wife and 2 daughters.

My mom lied in inside a white coffin placed in the living room surrounded by lots of flowers and looked like she was just a sleep. The last time I saw her she always had the respirator mask on so it was nice to see her without it.

I sat by her side and sketched her.

She always hated being sketched by me, telling me that she always looked strange or looked mean in my sketches.
I think the 2 sketches I got of her this time was the best sketch I ever did of her and believe she would have agreed too.

I decided to keep these 2 sketches personal and not post online.


The day of the funeral, I rode in the Funeral car (hearse) with my Mom to the church.
It was a quick 10 min ride but very smooth careful driving made it easy to sketch.
'Reikyusha' (Hearse)

I arrived at the church 4 hours before the funeral.
I tried sketching while everything was being prepared but noticed I was in the way of people and gave up.
Across the street was a small cafe, where I was able to eat and sketch the church from my seat. This was perfect since it was too cold to be sketching outside.

my mom

The Himonya Church is a church I know very well.
I was baptized here, and used to come to mass every Sunday with my family when I used to visit Japan during the summers. After mass, they used to take me to 'Daiei', a near by department store and used to love playing the video games on the top floor.
I thought of all the good childhood memories while I sketched and had a nice lunch.

Friends and family slowly started to show up to my Mom's day 1 of the funeral.
Himonya Church - Tokyo
Himonya Church
Day 2 of the funeral:

Early morning, I came to the church a few hours earlier by myself.
I felt the urge to be alone with my Mom and to to get the last sketch of her.

Inside the church was cold with no lights but there was just enough sun light coming in through the stained glass windows.

I sat in a small stool in the center pathway and started to work on the sketch.
The sketch doesn't do justice to the amount of flowers my mother received.
She loved flowers, and all the people that attended knew that and brought her flowers.
My dad also bought lots of her favorite orchid's which pretty much filled the whole church stadium floor!
He said it was the most amount of flowers he ever bought for her and wished he could have bought her while she was still alive.....

my mom

The 2nd day of the funeral went very well with lots of people attending as well.
We headed to the crematory and then afterwards had a small family/ close friends get together at a restaurant to talk about a lot of memories of her.

May she rest in peace.

my mom


MiataGrrl said...

Mike, this post has a very strong sense of closure. I can't think of a better way to say good-bye than those last sketches you made of her. I'm sure she would have looked them, too.

- Tina

Debo Boddiford said...

Oh Mike, this beautiful tribute brings tears to my eyes. Your love for her shines through in your sketches...I know she was so proud of you. I remember your sketches from the hospital, and your feeling you wouldn't see her alive again...I had so hoped otherwise. My sympathies are with you through this difficult time.