Grief is an excellent coping mechanism against loss. Everyone has different ways of dealing with their loss, be it the loss of a family member or a pet that they adore.
Which brings me to a place in Japan, that deals with its grief in a unique way. Through the use of a telephone booth, residents in this coastal town use it to contact their loved ones. Except they aren’t alive anymore.
“The phone of the wind”
Sitting on a grassy hill of Otsuchi Town in northeastern Japan, this telephone booth overlooks the place where a Tsunami has hit the coastline of Japan. Due to the earthquake and tsunami that tore through Japan in 2011, almost 16,000 people had died.
Many communities across the country have yet to recover. The telephone booth ‘connects’ family members to their loved ones who were lost in the natural disaster. People come to speak to those they have lost, to say the words they never got to say on that fateful day.
The concept for this grieving process was initiated by Itaru Sasaki, a 70-year-old gardener, who had placed the old booth in his garden before the 2011 disaster. He had recently lost his cousin, hence the booth gave him a private space to help him cope.
However, after the devastation left behind from the tsunami, news about the booth gradually spread. People from various parts of Japan, affected by the Tsunami began to visit. It was even reported that three years after the disaster, it has already experienced 10,000 visitors!
While this might sound strange to some people, visitors acknowledged that the telephone booth is just an old dial phone with a disconnected phone line. But this knowledge doesn’t prevent them from ‘talking’ to their loved ones. These one-way conversations harbored every visitor’s hopes that their messages will somehow reach their departed loved ones.
Who would have thought that a telephone booth could provide such a symbolism of grief and hope?
This article was first published on goodyfeed.com
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