This incredible, wonderful story, published in today’s issue of The Bhutanese is so touching, more beautiful than anything a writer could have imagined.
It starts with the death of a Japanese woman.
She was an ordinary woman; a teacher who had saved up all her life so that she could support herself in her old age.
And she was an extraordinary woman; deeply empathising with the the Japanese people suffering after the distressing Earthquake and Tsunami in March 2011. She made contributions so that she could help these people in some small way, although she herself was not directly affected by the disaster. More remarkable was that she had cancer, and yet she allowed room in her heart to empathise with victims of the calamity.
Before this woman died, Japan received very special visitors. His Majesty The King was the first head of state of have visited Japan after the earthquake. His Majesty was seen paying respects to the flags of the two countries, speaking at the Japanese Parliament, visiting, along with Her Majesty The Queen, an elementary school at Fukushima which was a near nuclear disaster the likes of Chernobyl, where people hesitated to go for fear of health hazards, and offering prayers near the site of the plant.
Japan was enamored. People followed Their Majesties, physically, appearing at locations with the Bhutan flag, and on television, admiring Their Majesties’ poise and grace, inspired by the warmth and love Their Majesties rediated.
The Japanese teacher followed the Royal Visit minutely too. She never got an opportunity to meet Their Majesties. But she watched a wounded nation heal itself as the Royal Couple from Bhutan met with and gave hope to the people of her country. When she had been younger, she had watched another King from this country visit Japan, after another tragedy- at the funeral of the late emperor, and later, the enthronement ceremony of the new emperor. She had never forgotten the Fourth King’s visit, stating that it had left an ‘indelible impression’ on her and other women of her time.
So she wrote a will. She left some money for Bhutan. When it was read after her passing, this is what it said:
“His Majesty The King of Bhutan visited Japan with the Queen and lamas in 2011, shortly after the earthquake disaster. At the time, I listened to the speeches He (His Majesty The King) made in the district affected by the earthquake, as well as, the National Assembly Hall, and I cannot tell you how many Japanese were encouraged by his words at the time.”
And, “I was moved to tears by His Majesty’s words and grateful to him for putting his hand together and offering prayer with his lamas at the sites affected by the earthquake.”
And, “At the time of the disaster in eastern Japan, I, of course, contributed some money to the victims. However, this gift to Bhutan is slightly different from those feelings. It is not the feeling that I would like to contribute for the people who have suffered but more that, I would like to show my appreciation to the person who inspired me. Therefore, it has come to me that I would like to give my savings to the Kingdom of Bhutan led by His Majesty.”
She speaks of how her respectful affection for His Majesty The King has directly led to her affection towards Bhutan. “Therefore, I am happy if I am able to help for the educational or medical care in that country,” the will reads.
“Please receive my heart with this small amount of money and in the few remaining days of my life, I earnestly hope that my wish can be fulfilled. Although I am not particularly religious, I sometimes feel that I will be reborn in Bhutan in my next life.”
When I came across this story, I was struck by the inexpressible magic- the power of the actions of someone she has never met in real life, or spoken to. How an extraordinary person can inspire and uplift people, and turn tragic stories into something beautiful.
This story has a bittersweet ending.
Her contribution to Bhutan will fund two scholarships every year, and in a sense, leave a legacy behind. In the same manner that His Majesty’s actions and presence touched her and inspired her to extract from a heartbreaking situation, a bright ray of goodness, perhaps this action will inspire the beneficiaries of the Scholarship she has helped establish to rise out of their own difficulties, to spread some of that compassion that makes us special as human beings.
Perhaps those who hear this story will be touched by some of that power too, and walk the earth a little more thoughtful, a little wiser, a little kinder.
That’s the link to the full article on His Majesty’s page on facebook.