Be a blessing

January 13, 2014

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yartzheit candle
I have said the Mourner’s Kaddish more in the past three days than I’ve said it in three years.

I’m not sure what it says that 2014 has started out with a string of deaths and funerals, but I’d really like it to just go ahead and stop now.

A sweet, old friend passed away two days ago. It wasn’t someone I’d seen or talked to in years, but, oddly, had been on my mind the past week. Just the day before his name had come up in a random conversation.

There are these people that will be forever connected to magical times in your life and it doesn’t matter how long it’s been, it still makes you sad. It touches that time and bruises it a bit and knocks the wind out of you because how could something so perfectly remembered endure a bruise?

There is an old Jewish saying when someone dies, “May his memory be a blessing.” I guess that’s the way you heal the bruised memory, by making sure he continues to be remembered in that time. By always remembering that smile or that twinkle or that awful dorm room or that apartment hilariously located in a bad part of town or that hand that held yours. By wishing his children will hold fast to all the memories they can – and knowing that his family and friends will fill their ears and hearts with more stories of him as they grow older.

Today is my grandfather’s yartzheit – or the anniversary of his death over 15 years ago. I hope he finds my friend. I hope they sit down and have a drink together. I think they’d like each other.

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