Of Blessed Memory

Below is the latest entry in the “Preparing for Passover” Blog written by participants in JOI’s Mothers Circle Program:

My sister died suddenly two weeks ago.

My friend who has always hosted the first night Seder told me that she would be in Florida for the first night this year with her parents.

Another friend said she would host one night, but that I would have to help her, as she has never hosted a Seder before. Yes, she’s Jewish.

I keep thinking of the trove of kind folk who always join us at both Seders. What will they do if I don’t host one night?

I don’t really want to be thinking about any of this. I want to be thinking of my sister. I want the ground under my feet to stop shaking a bit before I have to do anything. I need to help my niece plan the memorial service next week. In the meantime we’ll start to clean out her apartment, console her spouse, bring him food and distraction.

Yes, yes, I shouldn’t worry. People can fend for themselves. We are not the only Seder in town. This is New York City, for goodness sake!

But its my children I mostly think about. What would be best for them?

My children have had too many significant losses in the past few years, and this one really shook their world abruptly. This was my sister, my generation. They rely on me for calmness. They rely on me to maintain a steady course. They rely on me to keep things as normal as possible.

That’s how my sister would want it too. She was such a happy, joyous woman. And she absolutely adored my children. She would want them to be having fun, celebrating our holidays as usual. I’m not sure I can do this.

I had made my list of people to invite already. It included my sister. I don’t want to make another list.

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