They Are So Homesick

Jenni Ho-Huan
5 min readSep 30, 2023
an old man, a woman in a hijab and three small children huddle in a corner of a brick house
image from:

To appreciate what you have, one must at times lose it.

In South Korea, they have this service where you can encoffin yourself, and many find they get back up from the darkness more eager to live. Yes, coffin therapy.

This matter of life and death is a complicated one for us humans. We long to live, and at times we cannot wait to leave, completely. We imagine our presence and our pain to be massive, yet as one author found out, we can be quickly forgotten. In his case, he actually edited his Wiki post with a date of death. No one noticed.

While some entertain the idea of demise, there are millions of others who simply want to live. In our oh-so-modern world, we have more than a hundred million refugees worldwide. Each of them, from the youngest to the oldest, clinging to life. Some refugee camps will see generations grow up in such perverse conditions of deprivation. I shudder to think of the trauma our fellow humans go through.

Perhaps those who despair of life could trade places for a week with these. Perhaps not. Replacing one form of despair for another may not work, except for coffin therapy.

Another group that clings is the diaspora resulting from political instability and persecution. They move and sometimes live nomadic lives because to stay could mean their demise.