Tuesday, September 13, 2005

In Memory of Ben, Z"L... A Series of Vignettes about My Son, Olav Ha Shalom

I thought that if I bought enough leaves on the "etz chaim"-"the tree of life"- in my shul ... all would somehow heal itself, that if I honored Ben's memory enough in the very place in which I wished he had been more often ... that I could weather the storm of grief, but despite the several leaves and foundation stone I realized that my own catharsis, my own coming to terms with my son's death would remain sadly and unnecessarily incomplete were I not to first recall and then place Ben's abbreviated stay within some sort of meaningful context. So I began writing a set of notes remembering all that I could from beginning to end from which later evolved the following memoirs.

There are quite simply no words adequate enough to convey the depth of personal tragedy that results from the loss of a child. The only consolation lies in the hope that others might benefit from Ben's example. He was the first son of Alan and Janine and the older brother to Kimberly and Zac. May he always be remembered for his good deeds, kind nature and gentle manner.

Preface to In Memory of Ben

Page "index"

Chapter 1: The Last Time

Chapter 1a: A Glimpse at a Happier Moment

Chapter 2: Asher Yatzar es Ha Adom B'chochma

Chapter 3: Tattoos

Page 2

Chapter 4: Diagonals

Chapter 4a: A Glimpse Forward in Time

Chapter 5: Lancets, Cotton Balls, Syringes and Insulin

Chapter 6: To Have His Own Place

Chapter 6a: Postscript ... Kimberly's Deposition

Chapter 7: Mazel Run Out

Chapter 7a: Postscript to Mazel Run Out

Chapter 8: Evocative of the Presence

Chapter 8a: A Moment Forward to Zac's Bar Mitzvah

Page 3

Chapter 9: Al Ha Nissim

Chapter 9a: Postscript to Al Ha Nissim: Rachomim

Chapter 10: Kindergarten Chairs

Chapter 11: Reaching In

Chapter 12: Ben ... Torah

Chapter 13: Choices

Page 4

Chapter 14: Comforting

Chapter 15: Unhealable

Chapter 16: An Act of Trust and Kindness

Chapter 16a: Postscript to An Act of Trust and Kindness ... A Baby's Blanket

Page 5

Chapter 17: Fractions

Chapter 18: Letter to Ben

Chapter 19: Shomer

Page 6
Chapter 20: An Acrostic about Ben

Chapter 21: Erev Shabbat and The Letter

Chapter 22: A B C (s)

Page 7

Chapter 23: Bais shel Emes

Chapter 24: Time Passage and Anticipation

Chapter 25: The Tenth Plague

Chapter 26: Mourning's Reflections

Page 8

Chapter 27: Thanks to My Friends: "Bentzi" and EliDov ... Zac's Letter Found

Chapter 28: Shem Tov-A Good Name

Chapter 29: Learning Lessons Late

Page 9

Chapter 30: Fragments

Chapter 31: Halfway

Chapter 32: " ... Who Endured Illness with Majesty and Grace ..."

Page 10

Chapter 33: I Wish I Could Have ...

Page 11

Chapter 34: Standing at the Edge

Chapter 35: " ... In a Better Place ..."

Page 12

Chapter 36: How Many Children ...

See Table of Contents, Page 2.Chapter 37: "27"

Chapter 38: Grief Progress Report

Chapter 39: I Was Just Beginning ...

Chapter 40: Ben and Zac

Chapter 41: Michael, Kimberly and Art

No comments: