Voices

Personal reflections on the loss of loved ones, mourning, coping, and finding meaning in the most difficult moments.

What Would Your Last Act Be?
My last correspondence with my spouse, with each child, family members, friends, coworkers and neighbors—are they positive, and ones I would “be OK with” if they were the last impression someone had of me?
I Never Knew My Father
Who was he? I don't know. I don't have a clue. And it doesn't even bother me. I feel indifferent towards him. I don't miss him. I don't know if I would have liked him. I don't know if we would have understood each other. But he is my father.
Goodbye, Bubby
It’s hard to say goodbye to someone you love.
A Bereaved Father's Reflection
Although it’s very hard to make sense of life after this terrible tragedy, we have heard from many people about the profound impact Gershon had upon their lives.
Entering the Shabbat
Koby died on Tuesday, and was buried on Wednesday night. There were two days of mourning before Shabbat
My Son’s Life
It may seem odd that I am writing such a detailed letter. But I have noticed that it’s been very hard for people to talk about this, so I decided to step forward on my own and tell this story . . .
From One World to the Next
She was so beautiful as she lay there on her back, perfectly still. I cradled her head in my arms as we washed her face. Her skin was smooth and her limbs remarkably flexible . . .
My First Taharah
Imagine for just one horrible moment that you have died. Your soul is hovering over your body, and you are frightened and confused. “What is going on? Am I dead? What happens now...?”
My Hardest Mitzvah
As I walked behind the hearse, I thought about what we had done. I have been to funerals and been among the mourners, where everyone focuses on dealing with the living. Having now participated with those who focus on the dead, I have a new perspective
Grim. Erev Shabbat.
I am sure that there on the other side of the globe competent people are going about that grim task. We sit here and we watch them without seeing
My First Yizkor
For the first 33 years of my life, I never probed the reason why non-mourners leave the room. I was happy to be legally expelled from the synagogue and catch a schmooze with a fellow yizkor-evacuee...
Priorities
It is a journey into memories of days lost or at least misplaced. Sometimes it takes every ounce of courage I have to not turn them away, to allow them to wrench my gut and heart with shame and regret and pass through my body like a wave of fire...
My Body and Me
There was no longer this "prison" or "vessel" or "garment" of the body. There was no longer soul and body as separate entities. What I was experiencing was in contradiction with all the language that I'd read and heard through the years
Are We Disposable?
In today's world, we're told that the faster and fuller we "carry on with our lives" after we lose someone, the healthier we are. Does this mean that we're all disposable and replaceable? Can our loved ones laugh so quickly after we're gone?
In Sorrow and In Joy
Just a few months after the darkest period our family has ever known, we danced at two of our sons' weddings, and the Bar-Mitzvah of a third.
Four Completed Lives
There was Ari, 15, who used to say that "life was too short to waste on anger." Noah, 6, was extra nice to children who had trouble making friends. Adira, 5, was strong-willed and carefree. Natan, 4, had Down syndrome and loved to play guitar and sing...
G-d, I want him back!
Sharing the heart’s power to heal after the devastating loss of a child
"I feel I have joined a very exclusive club," Gershon pauses, "whose admission price is very steep. A club that allows you a special relationship with G‑d."
How Can I Go On Without Her?
When my sister died, my inspiration did, too. I wondered: Would I ever laugh again? Why did my life go on when hers had been cut short?
Last Days
I can’t help but wonder what I would do if I knew it was the last day of my life
Lost But Found
Finding Daddy in Our Hearts
I wouldn't go. I didn't want to. I felt no connection with a wooden box being put into a hole in the ground. That was not my daddy, it couldn't be. I was not going to have that as my last memory of my daddy.
Erasing Dark Circles
i might drag my feet for a minute -- or month
because these things are big, you know
and who can say what crossing over
feels or looks like
Four Completed Lives
There was Ari, 15, who used to say that "life was too short to waste on anger." Noah, 6, was extra nice to children who had trouble making friends. Adira, 5, was strong-willed and carefree. Natan, 4, had Down syndrome and loved to play guitar and sing...
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