Emiko Okada

The Atomic Bomb was Developed by Human Beings And Also Dropped by Human Beings

6. The death of my son

In 1975,Kazuhiko was 13 years old and in the first year of junior high school.  As it wasa summer holiday, all of my family visited my husband’s family grave.  Because my children were going to stay at their cousins’ house in Niho (Minami-ku) for several days, my husband and I went home.  The following day, while I was cooking dinner, one of my relatives called me out of the blue, saying that Kazuhiko had been in a traffic accident and was taken by ambulance to the Prefectural Hospital.  Without a moment’s delay, we hurried to the hospital.  He was in the Intensive Care Unit and stayed unconscious for two weeks from that day.  But then, he suddenly regained consciousness.  We were very relieved to see that he could talk to us and thought he had passed the critical point.  However, on the 74th day from the accident, October 26th, he suddenly had a massive hemorrhage in his stomach.  Though many people, such as his friends, his school teachers and colleagues from our work places, offered blood transfusions, he passed away. 

That year, the Hiroshima Carp won the Central League pennant for the first time after they became a professional baseball team.  All the people in Hiroshima bubbled with joy like a big festival.  In the midst of that celebration, my family was in the depth of grief.  I was too shocked and almost couldn’t go out for two years after that.  Everyday sitting in front of the altar, I drank alcohol and cried.  The most annoying thing was when neighbors or religious people said condolences to me.  When I was outside and saw a young boy around Kazuhiko’s age wearing a high-collar school uniform, I had tears in my eyes.  I wondered why my son was not there.

My business had been doing well, and I had been planning to rent a whole building and make it a complex offering total fashion items in Tatemachi (Naka-ku).  However, my beloved son’s death broke my dream instantly, making me feel that my dream was useless.