The Saddest Part Of Life

My friend Harold’s mom died a few days ago. She had been sick for a long time. No one wants to see a parent, or anyone, go through that.

Helaine and I went to the funeral today at Temple Beth David in Cheshire. Tonight we made a shiva&#185 call at Harold’s house.

If it’s possible to attend a good funeral, this was it. Of course people were sad, but I suspect they did lots of their mourning while she was still alive.

This was a celebration of Pearl Kramer. I only met her a few times and hardly knew her. I learned so much more today when two of her sons and one of her granddaughters spoke.

She was educated – a college graduate when women college graduates were rare. She was valued, as she worked at the State Department in Washington during World War II. She was organized, a trait she passed on to my friend Harold.

What was said was more than sweet words. There was substance to these eulogies and her life.

She left behind a family that valued her love and guidance and wanted to make sure everyone understood that. Pearl would have been pleased to hear how she was characterized. Who wouldn’t?

The saddest part of life is, true love can only end in sorrow. Loved ones die.

There is no other way. To not love… to immunize yourself against the hurt that’s inevitable, is a fool’s errand.

&#185 – From Wikipedia: Shiv’ah (שבעה Hebrew: “seven”) is the name for Judaism’s week-long period of grief and mourning for the seven first-degree relatives: father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, or spouse. As most regular activity is interrupted, the process of following the shiv’ah ritual is referred to by English-speaking Jews as sitting shiva.

One thought on “The Saddest Part Of Life”

  1. “A good funeral”. Yes. That’s what my grandmother had. She had hung on with severe Alzheimer’s for many years, so by the time her body passed on our family had already gotten over the loss of her as a person. Her funeral was a good old fashioned Irish Wake, and 11 years on we still count it as one of the most fun times our extended family has had together. Now that’s the way to go. I can only hope to be so lucky.

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