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.

1 Comment

  1. Awww Alicia… I am so sorry for the loss of your sister & all that you’re going through right now. I am not Jewish so let me state that right off. But I do know loss, as do my children. My mother lived with me & my family for 7 years before she passed away. Her last 10 months were spent in a hospital bed here at the house. She weighed less than 50# when she died, not having eaten the last 19 days of her life & not having drank for the last 4 days. My 11 year old, 20 year old & myself knelt down by mom’s bed and prayed for the last hour before she died.

    We are a homeschooling family… been doing it for 19 years thus far. Our philosophy is “include the children in everything”. Your sister’s passing is “life”… you not being able to host this year’s Seder meal is “life”. Children can handle life… or they should be able to. Show your children how by: **telling them that one year may be different than the next, all the years of their earthly lives, **showing them it’s ok to grieve and that grief sometimes changes a person for a bit, **allowing them to understand that death is every bit a part of life as birth is, **teaching them that tradition is wonderful but is not rigid & that traditions can vary from year to year depending on the circumstances, **demonstrating to them that sometimes we are the people who need help, instead of always being the ones who do the helping. I will be thinking of you. Take good care! xoxoxoxo ~Andrea

    Comment by Andrea — March 17, 2010 @ 12:30 pm

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