What does a phone booth with a disconnected phone inside have to do with grieving?
First of all, maybe you are wondering what a phone booth is. Before cell phones, if you were traveling or away from your home phone and wanted to make a phone call, you would look for a small booth with a payphone inside.
So what does a phone booth and a disconnected phone have to do with grieving?
A 70 year old gardener in Japan placed an old phone booth in his garden. His cousin had recently died and the phone booth gave him a private place to grieve.
After the devastation left behind from the tsunami in 2011, news about the phone booth gradually spread and people from various parts of Japan began to visit, with some reports implying that three years after the disaster it already had experienced 10,000 visitors!
While this may seem strange to some people, those that visit understand that the phone booth houses just an old dial phone with a disconnected phone line; but this knowledge does not prevent them from talking with their loved one, telling them about what is going on in their lives, how they are, how they are feeling, how they are missing them but will see them again someday – albeit a one way conversation with such soulful personal meanings, HOPE is always there, that their messages will, through some unknown way, reach their departed loved ones.
What does this story tell us about grieving and caring for those who are grieving?