January 22nd, 2014

reflect

(no subject)

Ma`ariv in five minutes flat last night, at the end of the Open Midrash Project by virtue of missing out the third בְּרָכָה after the Shema and reciting הַבִינֵנוּ; this is what happens when I get the chance to set the service agenda. And today, I forgot to bring a siddur in for the Deutsche Bank minyan, and the printer wasn't working, so I ended up scrawling down the text for הַבִינֵנוּ as I could daven everything apart from the middle בְּרָכוֹת of the Amida (and all bar four lines of תַּחֲנוּן, which is the least important part of the service) off by heart. At this rate, I might need to borrow aviva_m's Havineinu Fan Club T-shirt!

Yesterday, miss_whiplash wrote:
We are hearing about how the mourning is, but how are you?
Which is a good question.

I'm okay. I actually expected to be completely dry-eyed when my mother died, as I had been when my grandmother died. (Indeed, it was all I could do to keep a smile off my face at the latter's funeral, as I was pleased to see so many people had come to it.) In both cases, I'd had a long time to get used to the idea she was going to die. To my complete surprise, though, I burst into tears when I learned of my mother's death; I was waiting for my 'plane at Tegel airport* at the time, and am grateful to my brother for suggesting my father inform me even though it was only six in the morning Berlin time, as I still had aviva_m to comfort me then. I'd have hated having to find out in between flights at Heathrow when I was all alone. Having, I thought, got over that, I burst into tears again at the funeral, and again at the תִּחִיַּת הַמֵּתִים (resurrection of the dead) in the second בְּרָכָה of the Amida at mincha in the Ohel in the cemetery.

Since then, I've been pretty much all right. It's the way of the world for children to lose their parents, and I'd had a long time, even before my mother's illness, to get used to the idea it would happen. I'd hoped it wouldn't happen for a long time yet, but that wasn't in our hands.

* A week before she died, the doctor had said my mother had two to three weeks left to live, so I'd decided to use the tickets I'd got months earlier to go visit [profile] aviva_m for the weekend. My brother had told me my mother wanted to see me and my other brother again to say goodbye (a typical Jewish goodbye; how many times had I said goodbye by then?), and I actually had train tickets to go to Newcastle on the Tuesday, after I came back from Berlin on the Monday, but as it happens she died on the Sunday. I'm glad, though, that I made a point of Skyping with her several times after the previous time I'd visited in person.

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