I guess I am closing in on the age when people around me start dying off. When I was younger these people already seemed old, now that I reached their age that seemed so ancient to me not so long ago, I find myself attending funerals more often than I’d like. And this is just the sad beginning, many of my relatives and relatives of my few friends are in their 70s, 80s and 90s. As the new immigrants these are the people who will be the  first in their families to be buried in the New Country. They had the courage to leave everything, including many generations of their ancestors buried in the old Motherland, and they will be the first to be laid to rest here. And we, the younger generation, will be the first to have our loved ones separated by the ocean, the old gravestones there will eventually be forgotten after we are gone.
The people we are losing now had truly legendary lives: they were born in the young new country, they fought in the war, they came home to rebuild, they raised their kids, they lived, they loved, they suffered, lost friends and relatives, lived through lies and propaganda, managed with very little and lived to see their children and especially grandchildren prosper in this country. Their eulogies will be said in the language they don’t understand, and Rabbi will pray to God they were taught didn’t exist. The Rabbi will talk about their lives, struggling to pronounce their names and places they lived in, knowing that most of the mourners do not understand a word of Hebrew, but still love the sound of it and a feeling that the same exact words were said for millions of people for thousands of years, for a moment bringing them in touch with all the generations before them.

Jewish Cemetery,
Brown dirt frozen
With millions of tears

Photo: Rose Hill Cemetery, Kansas City, MO 

  • I love this entry.

  • midtown miscreant

    Really Good post.

  • The weird part is that all through the funeral I was thinking what I will write about it and on the way out shot the picture. That’s not right.

  • travelingal

    meesha…What you were thinking about during the funeral is what you’ve expressed here…a tribute to people and lands you care about. That IS right.

  • I am very sorry for your recent loses. I have lost some people recently and it is really a thing to write about. Thank you for sharing.

    I have not decided where I would like to be laid to rest yet, but I am not sure if I would want it to be here or not just yet… something to think about.

    I actually went to a store called European Delights that turned out to be more of a Russian store than I expected. Had tons of fun getting good sausage, cheese, bread and even some “real” wafers.

    I was also curious about the Jewish perspective on the bodies revealed thing… and thanks for calling me a fat ass 🙂

  • European Delights is one of two Russian stores in the area. They have the best chocolates. I don’t go there too much, I tend to eat everything I buy there very fast.
    I can’t speak for Jewish prospective on anything, my only contact with Judaism is during life events. I personally don’t care for the exhibit , I had a chance to go to the one in St.Louis and didn’t have any desire to go. How is different from making lampshades from human skin. Creepy.

  • Good post Meesha. I always enjoy reading you. I love when I get to play catch up… it’s like getting to sit down with a good book for a while. Thanks =)