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All Good Things…

…must come to an end.

But before it does, I wanted to share one last photo with you.  The photo that I’ve kept at my bedside for the last nine years and look at everyday.  It’s one of my favorites of Satomi and I together.

I’ve been searching for some profound words to say but I’m so tired.  You’ve been listening to me ramble on for years now so maybe keeping it simple will better make my point.

This journey has been long and at least in terms of this blog, I am sad to see it end.  I’ve come to rely on it to muster my strength and maintain my sanity.  It has taught me much about Satomi, our family and friends, people in general, but mostly about myself.  I can never express just how much it means for you to be here with us.  Thank you.  I couldn’t have made it so far without all of you.

~Sean Okamoto
Husband to Satomi and Father to Kandice and Jillian

This blog

In the coming few days, I will be downloading this entire blog and converting it to book form.  I want to preserve it so Kandice and Jillian can read about their Mommy and our struggle with cancer.  I will give it to them when they are older and can better understand it.

A few months ago I had experimented with the blog download and conversion process.  I was surprised to see that the final product at the time was over 350 pages long.  Wow.  After our stint in hospice, I’d imagine that it’s now at the 400 page level.  Kinko’s offers a complete book making service so my plan was set and I was excited about it.

I was discussing my plans with a good friend a few weeks ago and she made an excellent suggestion:  I could make extra copies of the book and donate them to cancer resource libraries.

Since I am still looking for the positive from this experience, this idea was really profound.  We could be help people by telling Satomi’s story.  She’d like that.

If any of you would like an electronic pdf copy, just let me know and I’ll E-mail it to you.  The hard bound books will be expensive ($90 to $150 each) but you are welcome to purchase those too.  Again, just E-mail me at and we can discuss it separately.


As she worsened and lost her ability to communicate, Satomi’s visitors held her hand but ended up conversing with me.  It was nice.  We exchanged stories about Satomi’s life and most I hadn’t heard before.  Stories of her childhood and her family.  Stories of her getting in trouble or evading it.  Stories full of love and admiration.  Ironically, I feel closer now to Satomi than I ever had.  I appreciate and admire her inner strength and kind heart.  There’s so much more to her than I could ever convey here.

While I do have a few self-criticisms about my performance these last years, I only have one regret:  I wish Satomi would have been here to benefit from all that I’ve learned.  I would’ve made her so much happier had I know all this before.  She deserved it.

It’s been nearly a week since the funeral and I’m sad everyday.  I do my best to keep up the positive facade.  Besides a few words here, I am not compelled to express myself much beyond the cliché “taking it day by day”.  I just want to soak in my sadness for a while.  It’s been years since I had allowed myself to feel this way.

I had planned to wallow in my self-pity for the week but unexpectedly, an opportunity arose that prompted several meetings about my Patent.  I had no choice but to return to work this past Tuesday.  I’m not in a happy-happy fun-fun place but I’m sane enough to work.  So no mourning time for Sean.  I’m upset but holding it together.

Very soon I’m returning to the gym with an iPod full of Na Leo.  I’m hoping that it upsets me enough to push myself.  I need to get healthy and this pain is an excellent motivator to do it.

My parents are taking Kandice and Jillian to San Jose in a couple of weeks to visit my sister.  I’ll have a whole week to myself to gather my thoughts.  I’m looking forward to the alone time.  Maybe I’ll even have some fun.  Either way, I just need to clear my head.

This is going to be a long road but I think we’re doing ok.

In Stride


Jillian speaks about her mommy dying very openly.  I thought she may be having trouble appreciating the reality of the situation.  Being 4 years old, I wasn’t sure what was “normal”.  She’s slept well but has had a few emotional outbursts at school.  The teachers said it wasn’t that bad given what had happened to her. We were worried so I took her to therapy.  Jillian was a bit reserved but eventually opened up a little bit.  She drew a picture that said “I Love You Mommy” on the bottom and played games.  All the while she timidly spoke to the Therapist.  Afterward, I was told that she was doing quite well and I shouldn’t be worried.  There will be good and bad days but keep being supportive and it’ll work out fine.

Kandice had things a bit more difficult.  She has bad dreams and cries in school almost everyday.  She spoke to her teacher and with my permission, the school psychologist.  I spoke with the psychologist after Kandice’s session.  She acknowledged Kandice’s sensitive state but wasn’t overly concerned.  Apparently, the crying is “normal” for her age and is an excellent means to vent.  Kandice and I went to see my Therapist today.  As they started to talk, Kandice wanted me to leave the room.  I was told later that they played games and spoke about her dreams.  Kandice dreams about Satomi all the time.  Sometimes it’s bad-like Satomi getting eaten by monsters-and sometimes it’s that Satomi’s just there.  When it’s bad, Kandice gets upset and wakes up crying.

I will be taking the girls to see the therapist for as long as necessary.  Kandice and Jillian both seem to like her.  It’s still early in the game but they seem to be taking the loss of their Mommy in stride.  We’re all very happy about that.

Beautiful Day

Satomi would have liked the Service.

It was a beautiful day.  One of those days where the sun breaks through between rain storms.  Once I saw the sun break through, I knew everything would work out fine.

She looked beautiful, young, and vibrant in her lavender dress and white cardigan sweater.  There was so much makeup, I couldn’t see her beautiful skin and freckles anymore.  Her hands were crossed on her stomach.  She looked like she was just sleeping.

I’m sure that she would’ve loved the slide show.  Maybe a frown or two from some of my picture choices but overall not bad.  She loved Na Leo and IZ so the music would have been fine.  Ironically, several of the songs were also played during our wedding slide nine years ago.

The video of her at the hospital sitting in bed with Kandice and newborn Jillian would have made her cry.  It makes me cry every time I watch it.  I had considered including a portion of our wedding video-she was speaking to me about her love and happiness and all her hopes for our future together-but I decided to keep that one just for me.

We had about 380 friends and family join us-many that traveled from far away.  I was very happy with the turnout.  She would have been too.