Saying Goodbye

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.

 

 

sari

Yup, it's true. I write all day for work - and now, apparently, I write for fun too.

 

12 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye

  1. Thanks for sharing. You truly captured an extra-special relationship that most people don’t get to cultivate. I’m sorry for your painful loss.

  2. Sari, your beautiful tribute to poppy made me cry. We will all miss him, but I know that you and your family had a special relationship with poppy and will miss him in a very special way. He loved you, mord and your kids deeply and you returned the love. I hope that in time, you will be comforted by all the wonderful memories and by the lessons you learned from him.

  3. I cannot imagine a greater goal in life than to leave it being this respected, this loved, and having mattered this much. You are fortunate to have known your Poppy this well… and he was fortunate to have such a granddaughter.

  4. Sar, I’m crying with you! Your relationship with Poppy was definitely 1 of a kind, as was he. May he derive much Nachas from you & your family now, just as he did when he was physically here to show it. Love you!

  5. Ditto to all of the above! Incredibly moving and brings tears to my eyes! Thank you so much for writing and sharing this.

  6. Sari,
    This was a beautiful piece. I know how Poppy sometimes commented on your posts, and he would probably write how incredibly beautiful this piece is and how proud he is of you, as always, and how he loves you. You had a very special relationship with him.

  7. He was truly special. And you can see it in his children and grandchildren, BH! I feel honored to be tied to your family.

  8. sari,
    the piece was beautifual and it made me cry! your relationship with poppy was truly special. i can only hope that over time, you will be comforted by the many beautiful memories you have of the time you spent together. not many people are lucky enought to have a 31 year relationship with a grandfather and you made the most of yours.

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