life in and around NYC is insane

Monday, December 22, 2014

The darkest day

She sends me a message on Tuesday via Facebook. There's nothing more the doctors can do for my mother. I'm flying in tomorrow. Please let everyone know.

In my mind's eye I see her throwing both passports into her backpack as she heads to Ben Gurion. I wish her safe travels.

And then Friday I get another message. My mother just died. The funeral is Sunday. Services in Queens, burial at New Montifiore.

And so, on the shortest day of the year, we find ourselves bracing the cold and damp. The darkness of the day, the darkness in our hearts...

I am the only one amount the group of friends with two living parents. The others are all orphans...though calling them "orphans" when they are all in their 50's and 60's...but they've all been in her shoes, they know ...her mother was 98...

Drew can't find the yarmulke he usually keeps in the car. One of the other mourners has a spare.

The Rabbi reminds us that certain prayers cannot be said because it is Chanukah. And I think to myself, She will always have to light a yartzheit candle on the third night of Chanukah...

We gather for prayer, the men in front, the women to the side and behind.

I watch the Rabbi daven , bowing over and over as he recites the prayers. The brim of his black hat flaps as he bobs up and down, up and down, caught in the ancient rhythm. Her brother says Kaddish for their mother. I see her reciting the prayer, too, so very quietly.

She hugs me and says. "We don't count in the minyan here."

"We count in my shul." I tell her.

"I said Kaddish for my mother anyhow."

"I know," I tell her.

They will be sitting shiva in Queens for a few days before heading to her sister's house in Maryland for the rest of the mourning period. She'll be back in New York for a week or so before flying home to Jerusalem. She may come to visit us before she leaves.

I hug her again. "When you come visit, I'll take you to my shul. You can say Kaddish for your mother."

She hugs me tight, not wanting to let go.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

A touching post. I'm sorry for your friend's loss.

Very kind of you to offer to take her to shul there, so she can finally say kaddish aloud.

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