This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Marshall Kozo Hattori, 55 years old, born on May 16, 1965, and passed away on March 1, 2021. We will remember him forever.
Posted by Karen Chow on May 16, 2022
Missing Kozo on his birthday!! Continue to be inspired by the words and videos he left behind, and the memories of his laugh, our conversations and teaching together joyfully. Sending much love to Beryl, Jett, Fox, and all Kozo's family and loved ones.
Posted by Virginia Drotar on March 1, 2022
Remembering you today dear friend Kozo and doing an act of kindness in your name. Your light will shine on in the world in the love you showed for others. Peace.
Posted by Sandy Wong on March 1, 2022
Still miss you a lot, dear friend. 
Posted by Maryam Mortezaiefard on November 28, 2021
I met Marshall at UCSB in 1987, when there was no one left to pair up at the Anatomy lab! Everyone knew each other except a few of us which the professor asked us to get a lab partner and get to work. So Marshall & I had to name, label and dissect the rabbit that was given to us. We had to finish certain sections before deadlines prior to each midterm & final exam. I was extremely nervous to pair up with him, but he told me that the dissection should be easy, and he would help as much as possible, but he has to go surfing almost everyday, if he could. He told me about the name he came up with for the rabbit and it was GTI. With English being my second language, Marshall was so considerate and thoughtful in helping me. He was smart, kind, and always smiling. By end of the Quarter, our rabbit was the best dissected. He got along with everyone, the whole class knew Marshall for his great energy, kindness, and passion for surfing. My deepest, most heartfelt condolences to his family & friends. I am very sorry to see him fly and leave us so soon. We were talking to my siblings at Thanksgiving dinner 2021, asking each other if we remember any lab partners from our university days, and I only could remember Marshall. May his soul Rest In Peace & Love, his light shine brightly through his loved ones.
Posted by Sandy Wong on August 4, 2021
Still reeling from the loss of my “go to guy”. 
I only found out when I couldn’t reach him and checked out his fb page. I know he is in a much happier, peaceful place but my heart still hurts. 
I first met (Marshal) Kozo and Beryl and Jett and Fox when I worked at Imahara’s. (I remember thinking - what great names for your boys). They were always a bright spot in my day. 
I was so blown away when he transitioned from English teacher to Healer/counselor, but it was so smooth and a natural fit, even when he shared all the personal challenges he was facing. 
He never hesitated whenever I asked if he could counsel a friend going through cancer treatments. I tried to reach him one last time with the same request. 
What comes to mind whenever I think about Kozo is “Fearless”. He was one of the most courageous people i’ve known. He’d jump headfirst into anything with no hesitation and always embraced whatever came his way, and with that great smile. His trust and confidence in the Universe was unshakable. 
Beryl, Jett and Fox, my heart goes out to you. 
I know Kozo’s out there surfing the greatest wave. 
Posted by Elizabeth Pimentel-Gopal on May 18, 2021
Happy Birthday Kozo - I remember your birthday on Sunday and instantly sought the opportunity to do an act of kindness. I created a bouquet of Roses from my garden for Kevin (AT&T) who was repairing the internet on Sunday. This is what Kozo would have done, I thought, give something to make people smile :-) Kevin was so happy to get the flowers that he gave me his personal number "to call" anytime I need help. And many other Service friends are doing the same- So we're creating a 21Day Kindness Challenge in your Honor Kozito...Happy Birthday
Posted by Bonnie Rose on March 30, 2021
Dear Kozo,
I met you on several occasions. Most memorable was the last SS retreat I attended. I enjoyed your sweet spirit and your sense of mischief. I wish I could have gotten to know you better. But I trust that you are surfing with the angels on the other side, free, and enlightened in service in your new form. Much love to your loved ones - Bonnie 
Posted by Anand Gopal on March 28, 2021
My dear brother Kozo. Thank you for being a part of my life. Your radiant, loving presence was always something I looked forward to and felt elevated by. And more than anything, I remember the tireless care you gave to Mahendra uncle when your own cancer was coming back. The planet and all its beings are better for having been graced by your love and life. I miss you and will always remember you with great fondness and love. -Anand
Posted by Christine Chai on March 28, 2021
“They’re Here!” – I worked with Marshall at De Anza College. We belonged to the same cohort of new full-time instructors. That year, there were several Asian American faculty hires in the Language Arts Division and I remember feeling a sense of camaraderie, pride and fortune to be joining this community of bright, eager, socially justice-minded peers who grew to be such endearing friends. Like most folks, I was struck by Marshall’s charm and enigmatic smile upon meeting him for the first time. I had the privilege of working with Marshall as advisors to the student organization, Asian Pacific American Students for Leadership (APASL) and serving on the Asian Pacific American Heritage Month committee. It was largely because of Marshall and his passion for the AA and PI communities that inspired our students and staff to fully acknowledge that our contributions and presence deserved more – that our community is worthy of being “seen” “heard” and “understood” and given voice beyond a dedicated one-month “celebration.” For this purpose, we advised and assisted students in editing and publishing two books, “They’re Here!” and “Lost and Found” – an anthology of student poems, short essays, art and photography.

Our circle of friends at De Anza, those of us who are around the same age, have grown together – experiencing the varied milestones of adulthood: tenure, partnerships/marriages, and kids. It was seeing Marshall as a dedicated father that truly concretized my respect for him. I have fond memories of seeing the proud papa, jaunting all over campus with baby Jett in tow in the Baby Bjorn! Just after my own son’s birth, and when uncles Marshall and Jim (Nguyen) came to visit, I recall Marshall beelining for my newborn, sweeping him into his experienced, baby-holding arms, and feeling so grateful and happy, not just for the momentary break that a newbie mom needed, but for knowing my baby and I had such “good people” in our lives.

I was lucky enough to see Marshall one last time in 2018, at our friends’ Rowena’s and Noelle’s 50th birthday party. His warmth and generous attention made me feel as if we had always remained good friends. To be honest, we didn’t actively stay in touch post De Anza, but Marshall was the type of person for whom a brief encounter with his grand and generous spirit was so impactful, which explains the big hole in my heart since his passing. Yet, simultaneously, it is that same impact that has emanated such an outpouring of love from his family, friends and community – this is and always will be, Marshall.

Thank you, my friend, for always being “here.”
Posted by Noelle Brada on March 28, 2021
Marshall had the cubicle across from me in grad school and ended up hearing about my every worry, every heartbreak in graduate school. It was like having a big brother (who knew everyone in Santa Barbara) and always made you feel that he wanted to hear what you had to say.. He was such a mixture of childlike wonder and wise beyond his years. You never knew how he would respond. I am so glad that he has been able to give spiritual comfort to so many.
Posted by SHARI Steele on March 28, 2021
Aloha dearest Kozo,
What a precious soul you are! I have so enjoyed your company and your wonderful vision about how the world works. Always open and giving from your heart to all those around you. Even from the other side we are bathing in your light! You touch us and I say thank you dear friend for your generosity and kindness and bravery. You are a blessing for the world.
Posted by Sara Cohen on March 27, 2021
I initially met Kozo at Wednesday Awakin circles and fondly remember late nights leaning against the wall next to the kitchen after cleanup, talking and laughing and sharing stories and learnings. The pandemic brought the blessing of getting to see even more of him! (albeit in virtual space)... It has been such a blessing to witness his graceful surrender into this transition. The memory that keeps coming up is from a conversation years ago about death, where he said to me, "Sara, after I go, people are going to be saying, oh I miss him, I'm so sad, etc. But I'm going to be right there. You've got to tell them! Say, hey guys, he's right here! He's right here!" I still clearly hear his words in his wonderful voice, and they bring me much comfort. Like other beloveds who have gone before, his presence continues to feel very present, and I feel him laughing with us, comforting us as we cry. May we all find peace on this journey. 
Posted by Virginia Drotar on March 27, 2021
Dear Family and Friends of Kozo, and you too Kozo, as I believe you still "hear" us with your heart which lives on and on in the great bowl of light. I remember you from the Service Space retreat in 2017. We felt like kindred spirits from the first time I met you there. Your deep, deep love for your family, stories of the joys of raising your boys, and your longing for connection to Divine Love in all things consumed our intermittent conversations over that great weekend. You told me about the quest to connect with your Hawaiian ancestry and culture, and surprisingly, I had brought a favorite book to read while on the retreat titled The Bowl of Light--a mystic tale of Hawaiian elders and healing. You were aware of the book but didn't have it yourself. I knew instantly that I must give the book to you. I am guessing that my book is sitting on your shelf somewhere right now. I hope your boys find it and read that book too, as you later sent me an email to tell me how much the book was speaking to you and guiding your journey into the great bowl of light that holds all of us. May your kind spirit as a wisdom keeper--a kahuna--always be with us Kozo.
Aloha my friend. With love, Ginny
Posted by Stephanie Minami on March 26, 2021
Marshall- Your joyful energy, bright smile and loving heart will be deeply missed at all our family gatherings. It's still hard to believe that you won't be physically with us but I know you are here with us in spirit. I'm so grateful for the time we have had with you - our family holidays/events, living with you in Cupertino together and our fun camping trips. These are all moments that I will always treasure. Your zest to live life it's fullest will continue to inspire me. Until I see you again Marshall.
Posted by Xiaojuan Shu on March 26, 2021
Dear Kozo and beloved families and friends,

I met Kozo at the Wednesday Awakin Circle in Santa Clara. His big and heartwarming smile always made me feel home and included in a community I was new to. When I first began to volunteer as a scribe for the Awakin Call, I was uncertain if I was able to do it. It was Kozo whose encouragement motivated and inspired me. He even trusted me to be the first time moderator for Giang Dang, an inspiring Vietnamese social (and spiritual) activist, and then asked me to moderate for Andrea Casalinho, a Portuguese permaculturist. Both times were transformative growing moments for me. I could never forget the joy and richness of those two calls and the genuine connections that were built. And then the money + Transformation retreat that Kozo co-hosted, and his sharing at the Awakin Circle at Banyan Grove... So many significant small moments that have ingrained in my memory and planted wholesome seeds in me that will continue to grow.

In memory of him, Kozo's big heart inspired me to fold four origami cranes that represent the four boundless hearts: the heart of loving-kindness, the heart of compassion, the heart of joy, and the heart of peace.

With Love and Respect,
Posted by Joe Houska on March 25, 2021
Each of Kozo, Fox and Jett resonate within me as blessings, mostly from our beautiful two-day overnight sailing trip from Ventura to Santa Cruz Island. Kozo loves and knows this planet and especially the ocean, just like he loves his boys. The strongest blessings are the hardest to capture in words, but emanate from Kozo’s sharing of his presence, energy, wisdom, sorrows and joys. 

Easier to describe is my memory of when the four of us gave love to my father, who I lost a year earlier. Together we took the first dip into my father’s ashes sprinkling them in ceremony into the ocean. Another highlight was Kozo’s joy as Jett, Fox and I paddled in and around Bird Island, nosing in and out of sea caves and floated silently, watching sea lions, on a glassy interface of air and water. 

If I’m not off the grid in nature during his memorial, I will be there. Kozo is and will forever be a lion in the sea that we all share. 
Posted by Nancy Hepp on March 24, 2021
Marshall Kozo (we knew him only as Kozo) worked with us on the Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies (BCCT) team for the last 18 months or so, serving as a research associate since mid 2019. As a cancer survivor who had taken a deep dive on complementary therapies and eventually took an integrative approach, he brought an insider's perspective to what it means to live with cancer and to face treatment choices and dilemmas. He brought great insights, valuable skills and talents, unbounded enthusiasm for our work and unlimited love for all. But he was much more than a co-worker. He was a friend to all of us. He graced us by sharing his final journey with us right up until his death. We miss him terribly.
Posted by Jane Jackson on March 23, 2021
My heart goes out to Kozo’s loved ones. I met Kozo at the Service Space retreat in September, 2019. He instantly made me feel welcome. His smile, his gentleness, and his joy in his sons and in living will stay with me for always. He taught me the expression “Changing address” when we spoke of loved ones who have passed on, in particular my husband. I am grateful for that expression and for Kozo’s perception that our loved ones who have passed on are still with us, they have simply changed their address. I trust that Kozo will continue to shine his light and love from his new address. What a gift he is!!! With Love, Jane
Posted by Khang Nguyen on March 23, 2021
Dearest Kozo, and to all the ones he loves,

I met Kozo only through his words. I read his blog posts and listened to the Awakin Talks where he was either a host or a moderator. Those experiences always brought me to a deeper place in myself. I remembered I was in a very dark period of my life, and I was listening to the call between Kozo and Dr. Manulani. And their words lit up in front of my eyes a sparkling ocean full of sunshine and blue expanses, full of life. Their words was a breath of relief I haven't taken in a long time.

I continued to read his articles and was warmed by his words, the intensity of his life, the love he gives to his children. I was fortunate to be present on a few call with Kozo last year, and more than once his sharing and his spirit brought me to tears. It came as a shock, like a pail of mud suddenly poured over me, to hear that his smile is no longer physically present in the world.

I'm very glad that I've known of him, albeit very briefly. Halfway across the globe, Kozo was my inspiration to live honorably, to give and receive fearlessly. I thank you and everyone here who have been a part of his life. I'm so fortunate to have been touched by his sharing. May his love live on.

In gratitude,
Posted by Elizabeth Pimentel-Gopal on March 22, 2021
Dear Kozo and Family:

I will keep in my heart his lovely smile, and the fun/loving stories he always shared of his children (Jett & Fox). Becoming a father is one of his greatest joys; however, allowing to be mentored by Jett & Fox (let go of the Ego) was inspiring to see, and hear him shared at Awakin Circles, Awakin Calls, and Service Space workshops/gatherings. We often found elbowing each other to wash dishes at Awakin Santa Clara while laughing at the joys in life. I felt his genuine love when he would ask "Lizita How are YOU (emphasis in the YOU and eye-contact a must)- eager to listen with an open heart....I am blessed with a loving family & life thus, I shared and quickly we would be talking about all the blessings in our lives...including the "water in the faucet"...he reminded me of the important things I often overlooked to be grateful for. I love you Hermanito Kozo.... May you ALL find comfort in all the loving memories of Marshall Kozo.
Posted by Laura Pole on March 22, 2021
Each day as I begin my work on the project Kozo and I worked on together, I light 3 candles for my beloved colleague and kindred spirit. Each one is placed in a small candle holder in the shape of a deer.  I have them facing a picture of Kozo sitting back on the ground, garden gloves donning his hands and a classic Kozo smile on his face.  Deer is animal medicine for "gentle adventures".  I picture Kozo's Spirit now, enthusiastically immersed in gentle adventures--well-deserved gifts for a human life of forgiving and loving.   Love to you, Kozo, wherever you are!  Laura
Posted by Alex Price on March 19, 2021
It was a cold winter morning when Marshall, me and my old roommate drove to Santa Clara river mouth. It was a big day and the waves in Ventura are thick. It was a bit big for my liking, but Marshall was one with the waves, until his last ride... a double overhead barrel that pummeled him and he broke his thumb on his surfboard. We got back to Isla Vista and to the student health center. Just one day of many that we spent in the water. He was a great guy and I was fortunate to have known him.
Posted by Madelyn Detloff on March 17, 2021
I went to grad school with Marshall way back in the day.  He was a beautiful, smart, and joyous man. My heart goes out to his family and friends. I’m grateful to have known him.
Posted by Scott Hadly on March 16, 2021
How do you distill down memories from more than four decades of knowing someone? You can't really, but when I think of Marshall I'll remember his big smile and mischievous laugh.

I always admired how open and welcoming Marshall could be to others and how quickly he counted them as friends. Over all those years I got to surf with Marshall up and down the California coast, in Mexico, in France, Spain, and the islands. Inevitably we'd paddle out at some spot and I'd hear "Hey, Marshall!" And Marshall would paddle over and talk with some friend of his. That's a lot of friends.

I remember Marshall for his generosity, his joy, his intelligence, and his unbelievable resilience. 

Marshall had an enormous power of will. It allowed him — a kid from Fremont — to shape his own unique life that belied where he was from. This is a guy who'd tested out of college calculus, who breezed through organic chemistry. Someone you could easily see becoming a doctor or engineer. But that wasn't what he wanted. Instead this kid who went to Mission San Jose High School, became a great surfer, a filmmaker, and created a life around the ocean. Then he pivoted to become an English Phd candidate, a writer and teacher. And most important of all, a father.

Apart from my siblings and my parents, I have not been close to someone longer than I was to Marshall. I feel so fortunate to have met first John and then Marshall and become friends. We got to see so much together. We both had our good times and bad times. We got to see each other build our separate lives, careers and families.

I was fortunate enough to visit with Marshall soon before the end. He told me he was ready, but he wanted to tell me something. I touched his arm, and he said: "Thank you brother for always standing by me." That was Marshall being generous again.

There is this weird thing about surfing and time. A ride might last five seconds, or ten or 15, tops, and yet it feels much longer than that. Stringing together all those moments over years of surfing and they still might only add up to a few hours. For some a few minutes really. And yet those moments have an outsized place in your memory.

I wish Marshall was still with us. I wish I got to paddle out and catch a few more waves with him. I wish he got more time with Jett and Fox. But I also know that Marshall had an outsized impact on a lot of people. His sons will not forget him. I won't. Maybe in that way he will live on in those who remember him.

I recently got to surf again after some time out of the water. It was early in the morning and cold. The waves were good but it was very crowded. It took me awhile to catch one, but I did and surfed it through. I'm old, so I didn't do anything special, but it felt good. When I cut out of the wave, my very first thought was of Marshall, and I smiled.

Thank you brother.

Posted by Karen Chow on March 16, 2021
Marshall Kozo: We knew of each other for a long time since our UCSB English grad school days, but back then I was not "cool enough" to hang with you, LOL. It wasn't until we both became faculty colleagues at De Anza that our friendship really blossomed. I will never forget what a joy it was to co-teach with you and Jim and Kristin in the De Anza IMPACT AAPI program and be inspired by seeing the "light" turn on in our students' eyes. I am still friends with a few of our special students such as Camille and Matt and Van. Remember also co-advising Van on her creation and publication of the AAPI De Anza student journal?? We all miss you. I am so sad thinking about how Jett and Fox will not be able to grow up with you here on Earth with them into their adulthood, but I hope that they will deeply know through reading these tributes that you left an indelible mark in this world as an inspiring teacher and a vivacious friend to many.  Rest in peace and power, my friend.
Posted by Philippe Simonin on March 16, 2021

This is a little message for the loved ones of Kozo, and to Kozo. I got fortunate to meet Kozo at the awakin circle in the Meta house in Santa Clara. Kozo was very dear to all of us. His smile, his kindness, his love were so contagious and his actions so inspiring. It was always such a joy to simply be around him. As I was kind of new to the awakin circle, one day he said aloud “Philiiiiiiiiiiiiippe!” and gave me a great smile and hug”. I was a bit shy and this greeting by Kozo made me feel like I was OK here, I was welcome, and at home. It really mattered.
His stories and shares were always so inspiring. Kozo once shared that when he felt that somebody was being a bit offensive, or angry, or frustrated, which could trigger anything in him, instead he was trying to reply back to the person saying “How can I help you?” This stayed with me… I will try to implement this in honor of Kozo.
Harshida once told that in her mind, Kozo is still standing in her living room, cleaning the dishes as he kindly used to do each time he would join an awakin circle. To me, Kozo is still sitting at the kitchen counter on a high chair in the Meta house a bit late in the evening, enjoying a great home made meal by Harshida once he finished cleaning the dishes. He is chatting quietly nearby Audrey and Guri and other regular awakin guests, with a smile. I would come and give a hug to say bye before driving back home to the Sunset. And he would always give me a hugh and smile. I feel He is still there.
Kozo was a very special human, I feel very grateful that I got to meet Kozo. Sending much love to Jett and Fox, Beryl and his family and friends.

Leave a Tribute

Recent Tributes
Posted by Karen Chow on May 16, 2022
Missing Kozo on his birthday!! Continue to be inspired by the words and videos he left behind, and the memories of his laugh, our conversations and teaching together joyfully. Sending much love to Beryl, Jett, Fox, and all Kozo's family and loved ones.
Posted by Virginia Drotar on March 1, 2022
Remembering you today dear friend Kozo and doing an act of kindness in your name. Your light will shine on in the world in the love you showed for others. Peace.
Posted by Sandy Wong on March 1, 2022
Still miss you a lot, dear friend. 
his Life
Marshall Kozo Hattori
After a valiant long battle with cancer, Marshall Kozo Hattori passed away on March 1, 2021.
Marshall was born to Gail and Masaki Hattori at Madigan General Hospital, Fort Lewis, Washington.  He spent his early years in Hanau, Germany and Stockton, California before moving to Fremont, California in 1970.  He attended Gomes Elementary, Chadbourne Elementary, Hopkins Jr. High School and Mission San Jose High School.  He went on to college at the University of California Santa Barbara where he earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English.
His love of surfing led him to found Kozo Productions to produce surfing videos WHAT, WHAT NOW, WHAT NEXT, WHAT ELSE, SPEECHLESS, and his full length movie IMAGINE SURFING AS SADHANA.   He also published a book FRIENDSAVER, a journal that writes itself.  You would ask friends and acquaintances to fill out their pages preferably with photos. 
He taught English at Santa Barbara City College and DeAnza College. While at DeAnza he had a hand in getting two books of students published.  They were THEY’RE HERE and LOST AND FOUND.  
In addition to surfing, Marshall was a lifelong seeker. He studied Aikido, Zen, Vipassana, Ho’oponopono and Qigong from a variety of masters. He considered his Hawaiian grandfather to be one of his greatest teachers, and in an effort to preserve Hawaiian wisdom, he interviewed elders like Pono Shim, Paul Strauch Jr. and Suzi Kawaiohiokekaikaiona’okalâni Ko. 
In 2014, Marshall began volunteering with ServiceSpace, a 100% volunteer-run, global ecosystem and incubator of initiatives for inner and outer transformation. For many years he served as a co-anchor for Awakin Calls, ServiceSpace's weekly podcast that features change-makers from all walks of life. In 2017, he himself was a featured guest on the podcast. Despite his many health challenges, Marshall continued to actively host and moderate interviews, facilitate workshops, attend weekly meditation circles, and participate in kindness activities, and annual retreats with ServiceSpace.  
In 2017, Marshall published The Healing Grace of Cancer, a book that shares experiences and learnings from his health journey. He wrote extensively on subjects that ranged from healing modalities, and peace practices, to raising compassionate boys. He also created the Compassionate Men’s Interview Series which included interviews with Thich Nhat Hanh, Rick Hanson, Father Richard Rohr, and Dan Siegel. His essays and articles have been published at Yes Magazine, Mindful Magazine, Greater Good Science Center, The Elephant Journal, and The Good Men Project. In 2019, he joined the staff of Commonweal, a renowned institute that is home to over two dozen projects in health, education, environment and justice. Marshall served as a research associate for its projects Beyond Conventional Cancer Therapies, the Resilience Project as well as OMEGA. He contributed to this important work up until his final weeks.
Marshall was preceded in death by his father Major Masaki Hattori and is survived by sons Jett and Fox, Beryl Gao Hattori, parents Gail and Calvin Tomita, brothers John, and Douglas(Stacy), nephews Alex and Tyler, many aunts and uncles and his beloved cousins.
Marshall touched innumerable lives with his fearless authenticity, generous heart, and his spirit of kapu aloha (sacred love). He requested that he be cremated and his ashes scattered at his favorite surfing spot in Santa Barbara and Kona, Hawaii. 
Recent stories

To all who were blessed to know Marshall Kozo Makala Hattori

Shared by Doug Hattori on March 7, 2021
Marshall Kozo passed away peacefully at around 6:45 PM on March 1 with my wife and I holding his hands and his two nephews at the base of his bed touching his legs.  It was as beautiful a passing as I could have hoped for my brother as he showed no signs of pain while taking his last breaths.

Although there has been many tears and a tremendous amount of sadness in these last few weeks, I am grateful that my brother was able to leave this life the way he wanted and to say goodbye to those he cherished most. 

I am also grateful that we were able to live together again for the first time in over 30 years since sharing an apartment in Isla Vista while going to UCSB.  True to his nature, Kozo never wanted to be a burden and only accepted our invitation to live with us “just until the weather gets warmer and I am strong enough to live in Oliver’s tiny house”.  He slept for three days straight when he moved in just after the holidays as his body was so weak from raising his boys and doing things for others despite his condition.  As he gained some strength back, I will cherish the times we were able to spend together from playing Mahjong and the card game Cambio with the boys to binge watching Cobra Kai. It was also a very healing time for both of us as we ended each night with Kozo telling me, “I love you Dougie” and me responding back, “I love you too bro”.  A daily ritual that we very rarely said to each other before (at least from my end). 

As Kozo started to realize that his stay with us was not to get better but to pass, he continued to insist that he didn’t want anyone to go out of their way for him. He balked at spending $40 on a Firestick so he could watch Netflix in the garage (I am good with watching Family Feud Dougie).  And speaking of the garage, despite us constantly wanting to move him to one of our boys’ rooms in the house, Kozo defiantly insisted on staying in the garage.  It was somewhat embarrassing telling people that my brother has cancer and is staying in our garage!  I now realize there were two reasons for this. By staying in the garage, Kozo was able to visit and say goodbye to multiple people at once and still allow for social distancing. Something that could not have been possible in a small bedroom.  And secondly, subconsciously, he must have known that we stored his surfboards up in the attic right above his bed! 

On Sunday, February 22nd, after a visit from his longtime friend Scott Hadly (2 high school students in suburban Fremont learning to surf together!) and a special visit by his loved ones from ServiceSpace, Kozo told Stacy and I, “I’m ready. I’ve been able to see who I needed to see, Beryl and the boys are going to be OK and I am at peace.  Don’t be surprised if I pass tonight.” He told Oliver, his dear friend who flew in from Hawaii to be with him that he would be gone before his plane lands back on the Big Island on Monday.  “Don’t worry Dougie, I am not going to be a burden, I am ready for this to be fast and not drawn out.” 

By Tuesday, the 24th, Kozo had lost the ability to speak or get out of his bed without me holding on to him. Our last real conversation was him asking me, “Why can’t I talk?” to which I replied, “It’s all part of the process bro.  Just let go.”  On Wednesday, my older brother John came to visit and was able to express his love and say goodbye. On Thursday, he was able to see his beloved boys and Beryl one last time, sharing some tears with Jett, giving Fox a thumbs up and truly connecting with Beryl .  The hospice nurse came to visit and doubted he would last another day but definitely expected him to pass by the weekend. 

On Monday the 1st, Kozo was still holding on.  The hospice nurse came in the morning and took his vital signs.  Blood pressure: 120/80.  Pulse: 67. Temp: 98.2.  She commented that his vitals were of a healthy individual and I told her besides the cancer, Kozo was the healthiest person I know.  However, I was confused as to why his vitals were so strong.  The nurse told me, “He still needs closure from someone. He is hanging on because there is still some unfinished business.” I told her that was not the case and my brother was at peace and was ready but she told me I should try and make sure there is no one else he needed to see in order for closure. 

At noon, Stacy called my mom to tell her she needed to come by and see her son one last time.   She immediately came over and within 15 minutes of her arrival and holding my brother’s hand, Marshall’s breathing changed to a shallower, slower rhythm.  I left the garage and let my mom be with her son so that they could be together and share love, compassion, and forgiveness.  My mom left at around 5 PM telling Marshall that it’s OK to let go and less than two hours later he was gone.

Although my brother and I went on completely different journeys (I can barely swim let alone surf!) one thing we did share was our love for dogs.  In a recent post on his blog titled My Life as a Dog he wrote, “If you can remain perfectly calm in traffic… If you see others succeed without a tinge of jealousy, If you can love everyone around you unconditionally, If you can always be cheerful just where you are, You are probably…. A Dog!  Kozo was the spiritual one in the family but the next time I see a story about a dog that loves to surf, I’m going to believe that is my brother enjoying life and loving unconditionally.  I love you bro!