Archive | May, 2014

Except for the Memories,We Fade Away

26 May

It has  been a year since we unveiled my uncle’s monument.  I am certain that both his life and his death following a four year struggle with Lewy Body disease have made me a better person. This is a look back at the time shortly after his passing in December, 2012.

My uncle before Lewy Body got to him.

My uncle before Lewy Body got to him.

Earlier today I got really emotional when I saw my uncle’s hand-writing on a document I had just been given. Why I could get so choked up over a set of initials in blue ink got me thinking about how quickly an ordinary person’s mark on this earth fades away after death. No matter how extraordinary that individual might be to us, the signs of their presence within the context of the greater world will inevitably become fainter and fainter with each passing day. So much so, that even the smallest reminders of a time before my uncle’s descent into dementia are reason to rejoice. Or in my case, tear up.

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My Papa Didn’t Like the Rolling Stones

17 May

Jewish custom has it that when an individual visits a grave, he or she is supposed to leave a stone behind on the monument. I’m not entirely sure  about the origins of this ritual, but it most likely reflects the biblical practice of marking the site of a grave with a pile of stones. I didn’t have any when I visited my father’s grave last week so I left a hockey puck instead.

I haven’t mentioned my father before. He was the parent who did not get to grow old and for who aging issues would never be a concern.

I am already 10 years older now than my dad was in 1969. That was the year I was in the second grade and he died of cancer at 41. As the anniversary of his death was coming up and I was attending a funeral at the same cemetery, I stopped by his grave afterwards to pay my respects.  And as always, to have a good cry about the parent I wish had lived to old age.

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