Thursday, October 26, 2006

Chapter 19


I have heard it said:

“Time heals all wounds.”

However, for parents who have lost a child, the great majority, if not all, would respond that the “wound” of losing a child is unhealable.

And that is the way it should be!

“But what if the reality of parental bereavement could simply be forgotten? If we could just put it behind us? You know … like the old expression: ‘Out of site, out of mind.’ "

Would it be better if the wound were healable?

The following story may answer that question …

Loved by those …

I dreamt of Ben one morning. I saw him wearing his knit cap in a style I had shown him.

It was part of the uniform worn by the guys at the car wash where Ben worked too for about a year. Frankly, I never understood why he liked it as much as he did, but of far greater importance than my personal disapproval of the carwash job was that Ben possessed a strong work ethic for which I was thankful.

A dimension of Ben that so defined him was the great enjoyment he took in being with his friends and reciprocally they with him. He was very well liked and, in many cases, loved by friends who had come to know him! Kind and unpretentious, Ben enriched the lives of whomever he met.

Our loss of Ben left an irreparable hole in many people’s hearts! Maybe it is this that is the answer.

Such a person was Stuart whom I had met in synagogue and who knew Ben from the carwash.

Following a long hiatus, Stuart, for the first time in a year, returned to morning prayer minyan.
As was his custom, he inquired innocently:

“So, how is Ben doing?”

Upon hearing Stuart’s uninformed but innocent words, David gasped so loudly that the resultant hush which blanketed us seemed to have lasted ten minutes rather than the ten seconds it did!

I glanced furtively at Rabbi Louis.

Appearing shaken and angry, he finally broke the silence:

“Ben passed away two weeks ago!”

Upon his hearing the pronouncement, Stuart, an emotionally passionate man, began weeping so sobbingly that I felt it incumbent upon myself to try to console him.

I had anticipated Stuart’s inquiry but regrettably failed to inform him about what had befallen us-an act of foresight that would have precluded this entire unfortunate incident.

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