The Hondas quickly settle into their new life together, but of course their happiness can’t last…

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The two were wed quietly. No one blessed their wedding. All on Honda’s side opposed it…except for Katsuya Honda’s father.

Grandpa Honda: There’s no greater happiness in this world than living with the one you love. The only thing is, you two are still so young. So don’t just dismiss the naysayers outright. Some of them have good advice. Instead, little by little, show us how you feel about each other with your actions. Show the naysayers that you’re both happy because you’re together.

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Evidently, Kyoko is so grateful for her father-in-law’s support that she all but adopts him as her own father (simultaneously bridging the rift that had grown up between him and Katsuya).

On his days off, they’d go out, just the two of them. It didn’t matter where, as long as they were together.

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They were precious to each other.

And then Kyoko discovers she’s pregnant.

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Kyoko: I don’t have the courage to bear a child. I’m thrilled to carry your child, Katsuya, but…children are human beings, right? Do I even have the right to give birth to another human being…? I haven’t lived a decent life by any standard, I know that. So I don’t know if I can give birth to another human being. If I’m fit to raise another human being. What if I can’t…? What if they’re unhappy because of me…? If they’re bullied because of me? What if they get hurt or cry? What if they tell me they wish they’d never been born?

Katsuya: Kyoko, you already understand that our child will be an individual human being, so you’ll be fine. As fellow human beings, we should always keep in mind what makes us happy and what makes us sad. We’ll be generous with our hugs, we’ll hold them, listen to them…and if they do something wrong, we’ll patiently explain why it was wrong. We’ll teach them well. If we ever let our feelings get the better of us, and we lash out in anger, we’ll apologize. And then we’ll hold them again. The two of us together…that’s how we will raise our child.

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It may be extremely idealistic, but I imagine that would be a good view to take when embarking on the journey of parenthood.

And so she was born. The most precious baby in the world.

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Why do you have to narrate so adorably, Kyo?

The time passed, quietly and gently. […] The three of them went out all the time as a family. They laughed together all the time too. She loved it so much when Katsuya Honda embraced Tohru with that kind expression. It’d bring tears to her eyes. She said the kind of happiness that made her want to cry never flagged.

Then one day Katsuya is out on a business trip and he gets a cold.  Kyoko wanted to go out and tend him, but he didn’t want to risk her giving the bug to little Tohru, so he just says he’ll go to the doctor.

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In the morning, when one of his coworkers found him, it seems his cold had already turned into pneumonia.

He was taken from us too soon. He had his whole life ahead of him.

What was his wife doing!? Her husband’s sick, and she neglects him?

Knowing her, she was probably out partying!

I was against this marriage from the beginning.

Poor Katsuya-kun. He should never have married that woman.

Just a reminder that “that woman” is maybe 20 years old here (maybe).

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More…more. Pile on the blame. Tell me it’s all my fault. Tear me apart. More…more…condemn me until I get crushed under this weight.

Kyoko doesn’t seem to cry at the funeral (or Tohru, but it’s pretty understandable that a preschooler wouldn’t quite comprehend what was going on, especially her), probably relying on that guilt to keep her from feeling sad.  And then she has to go clean out Katsuya’s hotel room, and all of a sudden it hits her.

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He’s not here. He’s not anywhere. He’s gone for good. Katsuya is gone.

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I totally relate to this particular experience of grief.  You manage to keep running on autopilot for a while, until you’re engulfed by the thought that this presence you’ve always been able to rely on will never be there for you again, and for that moment at least, all the things you’ve comforted yourself with don’t hold any weight against what you’ve lost.

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I’ll never see him again.

Until next time…

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