Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The kever

Thankfully, the "Chevra" fixed the bottom of the Kever. The bottom of the kever was "naked" cement without any stone in contrast to the rest of the kever. For some untold reason, not having the kever as "finished" left me with an empty void. Having it fixed allowed me to feel as if I was doing something to be mechabayd Nechama. As a father, one of the most difficult aspects of being a bereaved parent is not being able to do anything for your deceased child anymore. By taking care of this, it left me with a satisfied feeling. To be fair, my wife was the one who got it done finally but my nagging counts as well. It is strange but I felt some peace. Until the kever was completed, I could not feel that peace. I am tempted to use the word closure but it would be a cliche. Closure is reserved for grandparents or even parents but does nothing in terms of representing what it feels like when your child dies. Maybe, "come to terms with" might be more realistic but closure has no place.

We visited the kever many times over the past few weeks. By the kever, all I could do was say tehillim, light a candle and clear off the dust that had accumulated on top. I cleared out the burnt out candles and added fresh ones. It gave me some sense of doing. I prayed that Nechama should daven for certain people and especially for all of those people who had helped us so much who need shidduchim. I wish I had something inspiring to say. I consider someone who lost a child to that of someone who is injured in a terrible car crash. We need to learn to walk again, to speak. You need to go back to the basics. You need to relearn everything that you once learned only now you have an entirely new perspective.

A friend in Israel lived several flights up with no elevator. While a few of us were climbing the stairs, each person voiced a different opinion on what was the best way to approach climbing the stairs. One person said to skip every other step. Another said to run as fast as you can without looking. The youngest person, but perhaps the wisest, said to always look down at how many stairs you have climbed instead of looking up at how many stairs you have left.


Blogger torontopearl said...

Brilliant person...that youngest who made the comment about the stairs. Sometimes somthing so simple (such a remedy as was suggested)goes unnoticed for too long.

1:49 PM  
Blogger Alan aka Avrum ben Avrum said...

Dear Glen ...

I was struck by your comment that bereaved parents are as if they had been hit by a car and survived ... having to relearn the basics: walking, talking ...

Remember back when I first asked Robert Avrech to clarify what he had meant by the use of the phrase "outside the realm of ordinary human discourse" and you responded to which I was somewhat taken aback?

Of late I have become much more of a private person than ever before; I am very consciously aware of my avoidance of simple social interactions and prefer writing and interacting with folks with whom I share the identity of parental bereavement. Woulds't that it were otherwise! I even find shul unsatisfactory reminded as I am of Ben Z"L whose remembrance on both the yahrzeit memorials and etz chaim .... leaves me outside, uncommunicative and pretty much uninterested in organized davening. Emunah and bitachon I have; it's just that public tefilos, as it were, leave me feeling empty and unconnected.

However, when I am in "Ir HaKodesh" I feel quite different ... laying t'filin as I used to do daily and praying for the further aliyah of Ben's neshuma.

It's a bittersweet irony that the children whom we raised to be mentschen: strong, self-reliant, good, able one day to live life, fly on their own-leaving the nest as it were-when able and ready-should in death return to us, our ever-present companions! I am ...

Sincerely yours,

Alan D. Busch

8:51 AM  

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