R.I.P. Masao Sugiyama

“Relationships take up energy; letting go of them, psychiatrists theorize, entails mental work. When you lose someone you were close to, you have to reassess your picture of the world and your place in it. The more your identity was wrapped up with the deceased, the more difficult the loss.”
― Meghan O’Rourke

Pat’s uncle, Masao, passed away Tuesday night due to complications from an unfortunate incident that occurred earlier last week. He will surely be missed this year by many of his loved ones, as the season for family, such as Thanksgiving, is right around the corner; as well as the greater portion of the holiday season comes full circle yet again. One of the events in which he will greatly be missed at will be at the Kagi family’s annual New Year’s Day celebration, where family members flock from all of Washington to gather together for a decades-old, family tradition.

I didn’t know Uncle Masao as well as most of the family did. I know he was an incredibly intelligent individual, and that he always spoke his mind (attributes that I wish I could harness myself). He was also a caring and affectionate individual, as I saw this through his interactions with his grand daughter, Esperanza, and his wife Margarita. Although I didn’t form a strong bond or relationship with him, I can understand the pain that comes with the loss of a family member, as I’ve lost an aunt and a grandmother myself.

“Krishna was once asked what was the most miraculous thing in all creation, and he replied, “That a man should wake each morning and believe deep in his heart that he will live forever, even though he knows that he is doomed.””
― Christopher Pike

Although the mourning process can seem overbearing at times, I like to think that it sets the course of a period of reflection. Often times, it feels as though we see ourselves as invincible, and that we will never die, but then events like this occur which brings us back down to the reality of the world. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Kagi, Smith and Sugiyama families as I know all-too-well how difficult of a time this is at the moment. I just pray that the celebration and memorializing of Masao’s life brings a complimentary amount of joy into the lives of those affected by his loss. You will surely be missed.