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Letter To The Varatojo Family

July 12, 2017

To The Family Varatojo,

For the nearly 40 years that I have known Chico, he was always a steady and shining beacon of inspiration for me and, I can say for certain, for my parents as well. Michio and Aveline loved Chico dearly and entrusted him fully with their dreams and visions. Without a doubt, Chico took many of Michio’s ideas one step further. With his pragmatism, dauntless spirit, and positive outlook, Chico was not shy to pursue many of Michio’s biggest dreams. Some worth mentioning that I am aware of included teaching macrobiotics to prisoners, working with governments on healthcare reform and, of course, inspiring so many to find themselves and their own purpose in life. His joyful and steadfast spirit allowed for his own active macrobiotic center to become the most successful in the world. There are so many accomplishments but his greatest, in my humble opinion, is his amazing and wonderful family.

It goes without saying that Chico’s death was a shock to us all and I can not imagine how devastated you, his immediate family, must feel about it. Unlike the slow progress of disease and old age where death noticeably takes its time and allows one to prepare for the eventuallity with grace and dignity, the sudden loss of a healthy, vibrant individual is nothing less than a traumatic event that impacts us forever. There is little I can offer in solace and comfort for such a great loss.

For myself, my own personal life has gone through its many ups and downs, and while I have remained committed to the macrobiotic dream, I found great relief in the steadfast consistency that Chico expressed in his life. Whereas I often faltered and allowed my own self-doubts to get the best of me, Chico remained true to himself, his family, his work and to the larger macrobiotic dream that had, a generation before, engulfed the lives of my own parents.

Each time I visited Chico and Geninha in Lisbon, their very presence and welcoming embrace reminded me that such a beautiful life as a family was not only possible but exists in their living example. I am sure the Varatojo children will continue to exemplify Chico’s spirit and positive outlook, yet I can not help but feel selfishly sorry for such a great loss to me personally. In my times of self-doubt and in visiting Lisbon in the future, Chico will no longer physically be there. That promise of an ideal couple and family living a macrobiotic life long into old age has now ended and is just dream. Yet in his memory and honor, it is a dream that I will always be inspired to follow and promote. For this, I remain forever grateful to Chico and to you, the Varatojo family.

With Love,

Phiya Kushi

July 11, 2017

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Hazel chung permalink
    July 12, 2017 2:05 pm

    Beautiful & touching letter

  2. July 12, 2017 8:18 pm

    Wonderfully well written letter Phiya. I’m sure it will always have great meaning to Chico ‘ s family ! Well done !

  3. Carlos Manuel Oliveira permalink
    July 13, 2017 6:22 am

    “Talking with plants and other elements of Nature and really listening a tree… more than one, recognizing the eyes of a tree… hundreds, listening their culture and also complaints… ALL this was possible to me 21 years ago because of Macrobiotic. Francisco Varatojo will always remind me of that, Macrobiotic will always will be remembered in my hearth for someone who wanted a better world, someone that took Universe energy to another level. That’s Francisco Varatojo his work, i find it in Nature. God bless him.
    Love and Peace

  4. Gale Jack permalink
    July 13, 2017 8:03 am

    Thank you, Phiya.

  5. Ineke van Schaik permalink
    July 16, 2017 7:51 am

    My heart is in your words too. Thank you

  6. sarah lyons permalink
    July 16, 2017 6:03 pm

    Thanks too,bro…well said&so grateful to you, et all… for inspiration&keeping the spirit of MB going…thankyou…i had such a nice time at Michio’s Memorial…seeing everyone&then after the meal,sharing&humor…there were some very funny folks sharing rememberances that day..you at the piano was really super,by the way…je me souviens……….would be great to visit Lisbon someday…….the reports&photos from Chico on facebk have been wonderful…i remember Michio&Aveline telling stories of MB in Portugal…was remarkable even back then…it is very helpful, to know that so many people were there for Chico&family at the Memorial Service……..je t’embrasse fortement…

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