Kirsten Henning


Updates and Reflections from Me

Gratitude for Fumiko

This week my friend Fumiko Uyeda Groves passed away. I feel a sense of loss and an equally powerful sense of gratitude for her spirit and energy she brought to the Japanese American community in Seattle. Fumiko’s family was from Hiroshima where many of her relatives were killed by the bomb. She herself was forced to the Minidoka camp in Idaho during WWII.

With the anniversary of Dr. King’s passing, I’ve been thinking a lot this week about what it means to live in a beloved community. I think Fumiko knew a lot about how to imagine the beloved community even when her life suffered unimaginable disruptions.

Often we talk about the love between parents and children, and between grandparents and children. But, there is something very special about feeling beloved by another adult when you yourself are an adult. Fumiko and others created an environment where people could belong. This is still an incredible gift in my life. I think the more we experience this kind of love, the more likely we are to create that warm space for others. And one by one we discover an interconnectedness that might have even been there all along.

My wish this week is for all of us to extend love and compassion not just to our children and grandchildren, but to other adults and children all around us. Fumi, my life is forever changed because of your love for all of us.

Kirsten Henning