Now that we’re inching our way out of winter, are you in the mood for a feel-good movie about life, death, and relationships? If so, “Departures” might be for you. This sweet, meditative movie, the 2009 winner of an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, will have you smiling through your tears.
Early in the story, musician Daigo Kobayashi realizes that he’s a man of big dreams but modest talent. In quick order, he loses his orchestra job, sells his cello and moves back to his hometown.
He’s looking for a change — and employment. He finds both when an ad entitled “working with departures” piques his interest.
He’s surprised when he’s offered the job during the interview. He’s even more surprised when he learns that he’ll be working as an encoffiner, someone who prepares a body for burial or cremation.
His new boss explains that the ad had a typo; it should have read “the departed” instead of “departures.”
Daigo accepts the position but hides its true nature from his wife and friends, fearing their disgust. As he becomes more familiar with the job, however, he begins to appreciate its beauty and necessity. He and his boss provide a service that benefits the families as well as the deceased.
“The rite of encoffinment is to prepare the deceased for a peaceful departure,” Daigo tells a grieving family. They are invited to watch as he gently and respectfully positions the body, cleans it, and dresses it. There is profound sadness on their faces, but also fascination; they find comfort in the ritual.
He takes pride in what he does and realizes he’s good at it. When his wife discovers his secret and tells him to get a “normal” job, he replies, “Normal? Everyone dies. I’ll die, and so will you. Death is normal.”
- Globe Life
Head for heritage: Through years of devotion to community, title of 'Mr. Carl Junction' earned
He worked for and later owned the town's weekly newspaper, the Standard, for more than 30 years; retired as the Jasper County deputy assessor in 2004; is president of the Carl Junction cemetery board and serves as the high school alumni association's corresponding secretary.
Phyllis Seesengood: Gardner's seventh in series among her best thrillers
"Fear Nothing," the seventh novel in the D.D. Warren series, may be Lisa Gardner's best psychological thriller yet.
Ryan Richardson: Dog remembers summer toads aren't chew toys
Over the next month, I became fascinated with their well-being. As far as I could tell, none of my other neighbors had the fortune of having these little guys pay them a visit.
Frankie Meyer: USGS launches powerful map tool
The site, historicalmaps .arcgis.com/usgs, will be a tremendous help to family history researchers. The maps are free, downloadable and printable. Best of all, they include the quadrangle maps that researchers used to pay for.
Frankie Meyer: Genealogy website upgrades its microfilm ordering process
Have you recently used the website familysearch.org? I recently learned that the site has vastly improved its system allowing researchers to order microfilm copies of items listed on the site.
Ryan Richardson: Collars, leashes can help dogs learn control
I take my dog out to the biking and walking trails in Joplin on a regular basis. I'm kind of a big guy, so the exercise is great for me gets my dog out into nature a bit more. Even though it has been pretty hot lately, I still make it a point to get out there three times a week if possible.
Women's league offers practice, social opportunities for gun owners
The objective for some is to improve their skills for target or competitive shooting, the league's website says. Others, while wanting to improve their skills, also are interested in aspects of self-defense.
Cari Rerat: Gratton's series a great transition to Gaiman
In "The Lost Sun," the first book of "The United States of Asgard" by Tessa Gratton, Soren Bearskin is a berserker. He has an innate internal fire, a battle rage that he constantly tries to squelch with self-discipline, exercise, and meditation.
Frankie Meyer: List of historic sites offers plenty of research leads
In 1966, our federal government established the National Historic Preservation Act that set up the National Register of Historic Places.
Achievements (July 20)
The following people were recognized in the Joplin Globe for the following achievements.
- More Globe Life Headlines
- Head for heritage: Through years of devotion to community, title of 'Mr. Carl Junction' earned