I have this desire to sum up my life in the form of a story.
My parents killed themselves, one after the other, in the winter of 1998.
My mother’s depression led her to take her own life, and my father followed her nine days later. Having suddenly a closer relationship with death at just 21 years of age, I decided to write down the things I saw around me, as they were, and to capture in photographs the emotions I would only be able to feel then and there.
I was alone in the house we had all lived in as a family. I had almost completely lost sight of the point in living. But even so, I kept on living.
Though my parents weren’t there, I had the many paintings my father left me and the family pictures my mother loved taking. They spoke to me and consoled me.
Happiness is “living alongside the people you love”.
Surrounded and engulfed in the love of my parents, I was taught the meaning of happiness. Now, after being blessed with a new family and a child of my own, I am surprised to find myself having conversations with my parents who still live on inside me. The look I give my child overlaps with the look my parents once wrapped me in.It is then I sense my parents are still here with me and I get a feeling of happiness, like I am being watched over.
If you are able to share your love for someone, perhaps you never really die.
In order to continue living with the people I love, I want to share with my family what I have learned from my parents. I would like to also share it with all of you in this book.
– Junpei Ueda