I’ve sat down to write this post multiple times. Probably dozens. It feels like hundreds. I’ve saved many drafts, reviewed, rephrased and revised, and nothing seems to be just right. I suspect this isn’t either, but it’s all I’ve got.
It’s been just more than 2 weeks now since you whispered that you loved me, three words that were among the last you ever spoke. It’s been only 2 weeks since I held your hand as you took your last breaths and passed gracefully from this world to the next. On one hand, it feels like a year. I can’t count how many times I’ve opened my email to shoot you a line, wondered what you’d think about my latest escapades or the children’s developments. Do you know that Tzofi is getting braces? That Hollie just ordered her first pair of glasses? That Itiel can now pull himself up?
On the other hand, it feels like only moments ago I was standing at your bedside where your loved ones sang songs to beautify your journey, to help you know that you are loved, to remind you, as you have reminded so many others, that even in the hardest of times, G-d is there. The pain is still so raw, it’s hard to imagine how it will ever fade, how the world will function without your wisdom and your humor – how I will manage without it.
My neighbors, friends, family, ask me how I’m doing. I tell them I’m fine, because I know that’s what you’d want me to say, and how you’d want me to be. But as I sit here, stifling my cries and wiping the tears silently from my cheeks, I know that I’m not.
Your death wasn’t sudden; there were no words left unsaid between us. And yet, every word from that moment on will be left unsaid, in a way that feels oddly uncomfortable and unnervingly surreal.
You taught me so many things, too many to be listed here, but still not enough. I yearn to hear what you’d say about the future of our country (and the current coalition negotiations), your opinions on the way your final projects will materialize, and what you’d think about this blog post.
I can honestly say that your death was a true celebration of life. That you died surrounded by loved ones, on the holiest day of the week, and that you were buried on Purim, one of the happiest days on the Jewish calendar, no small irony since you only wanted your family to be happy. These thoughts bring me peace, but little comfort.
I feel somehow that ending this post without mentioning every thought or memory running through my head would be negligent, like somehow such omissions would be a form of dishonor to your legacy. But I hope you’ll know that I mean no disrespect, and that I will do everything I can to honor you now, as I did during your life. You’ve not only been my Poppy by blood, but you’ve been my neighbor, my confidant, my mentor and friend. I am different because of you, and I will be forever changed because you are no longer here. I didn’t just love you when you were alive, I love you still. And I always will.