Monday, February 01, 2010

Eleven Months

The first Yahrzeit for my father will fall on Friday, February 26, the 12th  of Adar. The following night, Saturday, starts Purim.

Last year, my father died on a Sunday, and was buried the same day, a few short hours later. Shiva started immediately, but on Monday night was the start of Purim, and thus, megillah reading. So we had to get up from shiva to go hear megillah. On Tuesday morning, we also went to hear megillah reading and then came back to the house to sit for almost an "unofficial" day of shiva. We had our seudah that afternoon. I consider it a macabre seudah, as it was actually a shiva meal.

This year we go from Shabbos to Purim. Normally it's customary to sponsor a kiddush the Shabbos before the Yahrzeit, but mine will be the next day, Shabbos morning. Why is that? Because the Yahrzeit -- the 21st! -- for my father-in-law falls the next week, the 18th of Adar. So we are sponsoring a small kiddush the Shabbos between these memorable dates.

How did these two fine men, the paternal backbones of the Saban and Adler families, both happen to die in Adar, and mere days apart? And my father's father, who died when my father was 6 1/2 (my father marked his Yahrzeit for 82 years!), also died at the onset of Adar--the 7th of Adar. That is the day Moses is said to have been born on and then died on 120 years later.

"Mi-shenichnus Adar, marbim b'simcha." When the month of Adar enters, joy is abundant.

How do we act joyous, when our hearts hurt and our memories are overflowing with images of our loved ones who are gone from our lives?

When I go to shul on Shabbos morning, I say Kaddish on my side of the mechitzah. I am now in the 11th month and no longer say Kaddish. This past Shabbos, the words wanted to escape my lips; I had to hold back from murmuring them.

The heart is heavy.


Robin said...

I'm shocked it's been a whole year, so I can imagine how you feel. I hope my kids think about me with such love, respect and fondness. I'm sort of scared they'll sing, "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead," and sell my shoes for crack money.

Janine Sherr said...

Hi Pearl,
I can't believe it's been a year since your father died.
I miss him a lot. He was such a special man!
I still remember how he brought a sweet apple for my mother for weeks throughout her illness. He was so thoughtful!

I can only imagine how difficult this past year hsa been for you. I found the first year to be the hardest because the pain is still so raw. It hurts less with time, though the pain takes on different forms.

It's interesting that you noted how many people died in Adar from among your close relatives. Aside from your dear father,add to the list: my dear mom, of course (26th),my Uncle Mendy (also the 18th), David's father (the second)
and my father's father (fourth of Adar, yesterday)
Very strange how so many people passed away in the month of Adar.
After thinking about this a lot, I have concluded that Adar has the potential to be either very good or very bad (my brother got married in Adar!). The 14th of Adar was supposed to be a disaster for the Jewish people, but instead it was turned into a day of great joy.
So let it be for all of us from this time forward..
with love from
Janine in New York