Monday, June 05, 2006

To be honest, it's been a bit of an intense few weeks. Three funerals, a handful of births, and a few arguments (small scale).

In the airport on the way to Israel, I saw my friend Melissa's new book, The Learning Curve, which I thoroughly enjoyed on my journey, and left with J in Israel.

But I felt very sad, reading the acknoledgements, because Melissa knew that she probably wouldn't see her book published, and there was a beatiful message to her family inside.

A few of us, from our Women's Group (we've been together for seventeen years) are walking in Melissa's memory on Sunday, for the Race for Life (there's a link on the right, if you want to support us, although there's no compulsion at all), and my Race for Life kit just came in the post.

There's a paper sponsorship form (kinda retro, we did nearly everything online), a glossy marketing piece (although why they need one, I don't really know), my number for the front of our shirts, and then a pink card for the back that says "I Race for Life for...". And when I unpacked it, and saw that, I just cried.

I remember when my grandpa died; I was four. To me, my grandpa was an old man, and I missed him. I shared a room with my grandma during the shiva (week of mourning) and she told me a lengthy bubbie meiser about how he had gone to heaven and was helping Gd and the angels, and if I looked carefully enough, I could see him. I walked around looking at the sky till I walked into a lampost and knocked myself out.

It was only when I was older that I realised what a tragedy it was; my dad was in his thirties and my grandpa was in his fifties and it was a terrible, terrible loss. But I was a kid, and I didn't really understand, and in some ways that's good, because life just carries on.

Now I'm older I understand as much as anyone can how things happen, but why? That never really makes sense, and I guess you can't drive yourself crazy trying to work it out. Some things just are.

And I think pain and sadness don't really help - sure, of course, there's a grieving period - when people are gone, certainly for me, I think a celebration of who they are or were is more... real.

Like at a shiva, people often talk about the deceased, and their memories and stories about them. And I guess all the things someone taught you, or shared with you, they stay with you forever.

Every single moment is really precious, I'm coming to realise. Maybe that's why I'm stuck taking photos of flowers. I love the beauty and imperfect-perfection of Gd's creation. We live in a wonderful beautiful world, and even as I write, I can hear the zone-two birdsong, and it reminds me. Of these things.

But I can't help feeling a little sad, too.

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