DEAR FRANCES By Frances H. Kakugawa

Omoiyari . . . Think of others first and good
karma will return to you. — Frances H. Kakugawa

Dear Frances,

I’m sure you will receive many responses to your last column.

My mom also died when I had left the room briefly to make a phone call, and I hadn’t realized how often that happens. It mitigates the feelings of guilt and reminds me that our loved ones are not our possessions and have their own journeys independent of us. The presence or absence of others may be irrelevant when a person’s journey is nearly ended. I’ve imagined (or questioned) what those final moments might be like in a poem, and in my imagination those moments didn’t include other people:

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