Friday, June 11, 2010

Understanding Life Through the Dynamic of Death

Ok, I stole that title from a shiur the Rabbi of my shul gave... but, I am going to elaborate on a different aspect than what he spoke about.
As I was driving in the glorious sun after bestowing a treat to my dear friend, I saw a sight.... and it shook me. It was a line of cars, fifteen or twenty, I wasn't counting, but there were a lot. And on the front of each of their cars was an orange sticker that read "Funeral". My heart froze. My mind raced. Who was it? Who died? And why?
Then, as I continued driving, I thought, Wow... so many people are coming to escort this person to their final resting.... They must have been special.
And I think that is a very important thing to remember in life, when losing someone we love. True it is hard. True, it is sad. But think of that person, their neshama hovering between this world and the next, warmed and happy to see they were loved... and those who escort the meis can realize their connection with the person who passed. They can recall special moments, happy times and pleasant memories.
Death can be sad. A young life cut short. A person, farther on in their years, tragically taken from this world. It is hard, SO hard to understand, to cope with and make sense of... But their death, the actual event, lo haikar, it is not the main thing. The moments before, the moments after, those are the crucial times in a person's life... and their death. The time before a person passes on can be filled, PACKED with so much goodness, so much happiness and love, accomplishment and wonder. The moments after serve as a testimony to the impact the person who passed on left on others. Kabalos taken on as an aliyah. Kavod HaMeis. Levaya. Shiva. Shloshim. Aveilus. It shows that a person MEANT something, they WERE someone. How sad it is for someone who passes on with no one to acknowledge their passing...
I pray, I beg, that for the people in your life, you hold on to. You connect, make connections, and hold on to for dear life... because how tragic would it be for someone to pass on, someone you were close with, or knew, to go on without anyone to say goodbye or recall with fondness how special they were...

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