Since my last post, I have attended two funerals and a memorial service. The first was a 19 year old relative. His family had no indication that he was desperately, emotionally distraught until it was too late. There was absolutely no signs at the memorial that the family of this young man was anything other than “solid”. And yet, they were tragically unable to hold onto their eldest son in his time of trouble.
Last week, I attended a funeral of a 94 year old man. He was, by all accounts, loved. His gift to his family? His love. A long life, well lived. And then this weekend, when I arrived at Temple for regular Shabbat services, the community of the Jewish rehab center in my town was reeling over the death of a 23 year old resident. Everybody was doing the right thing in his case: his parents had gotten him into rehab and his counselors and Rabbi were working hard towards saving his soul. And yet…
The Rehab has a saying, “Just Hold On”, but I would submit that it’s not enough. We are not alone, and each of us has a responsibility to “hold on” to one another, too. I had a challenging mediation last week when I was asked to mediate a Conservatorship of an elderly lady, whose two living children could not agree upon the appropriate care for her and could not bear to be in the same room together–leading to an awkward visitation schedule. As a consequence, neither son was “holding on” and both feared she would die alone.
I’m not sure, once again, that I’ve got the answers here, but I do hope that my readers will reach out and “hold on” to somebody, knowing that it is not enough to “Just Hold On”. Perhaps this mantra could open the path towards all kinds of peaceful resolutions. Three deaths in a month can certainly put things into perspective.