Be yourself, neither strong nor weak.
CW: Mentions of suicide.
While I was at work, I happened to look at my phone and saw an obituary.
I was stunned. You, who I’ve never met or spoken to but made eye contact with many times on the screen, took your own life.
Something that shouldn't have happened has happened.
On the way home that day, I couldn't stop crying.
It's always been heartbreaking to hear the obituary of famous people like this, but this was the first time I cried.
Even when I woke up the next morning, my mood remained melancholy.
Is it because those, who were still unable to adapt to new values and imposed their own common sense on others, were criticizing you, a pioneer who bravely tried to live in a new way in this country? Or was it because these people are still the majority in this country, and it’s still difficult to live by asserting your own identity, even in the era of Reiwa?
Immediately after hearing this news, I told the woman next to me, "He took his life," to which she said, "Well, it is what it is. It was too selfish of him to have a child and make that choice." Is it because I felt an indescribable discomfort in my heart from hearing those words? Is it because I remembered a time when I was depressed, or because the feelings I had when my friend committed suicide came back? There are probably other reasons as well. The whole mess made me feel an unspeakable resentment in my heart.
A few years ago, a friend of mine suddenly committed suicide. I thought, “People can die as soon as they want to die.” After that, I read many books about life and death. Death is close to us. Facing death is sometimes scary. I’d never faced death before either.
I wonder if people slander because they’ve stopped thinking about death and forgotten that death is too close.
Oh, no matter how I look at it, it's too shitty. We shouldn’t live in a society that’s threatened by such low-level values.
“I can't believe this kind of thing is still happening in Reiwa. When will this country come to accept diverse values?”
I continue to think about this in my head.
Another thing I feel. Is my heart too sensitive to feeling so many emotions about you, who I only saw on TV and social media? Am I mentally unstable if I’m depressed, can't sleep, and can’t stop crying, thinking about someone I've never met?
I haven't been able to have a conversation with someone close to me with the same enthusiasm about this story. Everyone talks as if it’s somebody else's business, which I feel even more bothered about, so I can't share this feeling with the people around me.
This feeling of "Is it just me?” sometimes makes me difficult to live.
Even though I write such a thing, I go to work with a normal face today. I would laugh at something trivial and have a conversation.
Even on the day my friend passed away, the day my pet passed away, and the day I was molested, I went to work like that. But that’s not just me: I think everyone has spent some days like that. The world usually functions like that: everyone smiles and greets normally, and everyone does their usual jobs. Daily life continues without change.
Therefore, only they know about them. Only I know about myself.
I feel that we need the ability to look at things from various angles and imagine the other side, instead of judging something on the surface.
We have neither the right to deny others nor the right to be denied by others.
I’ll try to be kind to myself and others this week.
I'm a mama’s girl, so when I get home, I'm going to give my mother a hug.
I’ll tell my friends something.
I’ll send someone a cake or something.
When I get a little tired, I’ll leave everything behind and do what I like.
It's okay to be free like that. It's okay to like yourself more, and you can enjoy things as they are.
It's okay to be happy when you're happy. Sad things are sad. You can do whatever you want.
Do them at your own pace. There’s absolutely no need to feel embarrassed about something someone may say to you.
Damn a society where your thoughts are threatened by someone else's.
"Come on, let's do our best today. Be yourself, neither strong nor weak.”
These are the words of Madam I respect.
Respect for the great courage and softness. Please rest in peace.
Japan's Mental Health Hotline
Yorisoi Hotline 0120-279-338
Written by Himawari Murano
Translated by Rio Ishida, Emiru Okada
Edited by Emiru Okada
Graphics by Maya Kubota