At the second funeral, the rabbi said they were soul mates. My dad couldn’t live without her so he followed her nine days later.
She had brain cancer. We all thought she beat the lung cancer and of course the colon cancer all those years ago. But this time cancer had other plans. Doctors said treatment wouldn’t cure her and would completely destroy the quality of her remaining 3 months of life.
She lived those last months under hospice care in a nursing home. He was there too…congestive heart failure and a host of other complications that he didn’t have to die from. She charmed the nurses, the orderlies, the aides, their kids who came to visit, and me. She was a difficult broad but an easy patient. She let me do her nails, brush her hair, stroke her soft cheek, play Andre Bocelli CDs for her, help her with her toileting. He charmed the girls too..he was a difficult patient; refusing to admit he needed any help at all. He let me read the news to him but he was just being polite; he just didn’t care that much about anything really, at least not the way he cared so passionately when he was so much more….alive.
They died in the fall between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. The period of shiva was cut short on account of the High Holy Days.
I said Kaddish for them for eleven months. It comforted me; helped me feel close to them; I knew they’d be proud and honored that I did that for them.
It’s been seven and one half years since their passing. I miss them more as the days go by; as their granddaughters accomplish more; as I understand them more. I miss them more when I attend funerals; on their birthdays; on my kids’ birthdays; when I visit the cemetery; when I think of how much like them I am.
I just miss them.
I just miss them.