Rest in peace!

We thought of you with love today,
But that is nothing new.
We thought about you yesterday.
And days before that too.

We think of you in silence.
We often speak your name.
Now all we have is memories.
And your picture in a frame.

Your memory is our keepsake.
With which we’ll never part.
God has you in his keeping.
We have you in our heart.



Tata la 90 de ani si Raluca

The picture is at his ninetieth anniversary, together with Raluca, the granddaughter who looks the most like him.

Today my father was buried – and only God knows in how many years I’d be able to get to the cemetery, to get closer to him. Being far away, with only the thoughts flying towards there, doesn’t count… But I couldn’t do otherwise, no matter how much I would have wished it. Nevertheless, I can have him close in my thoughts, I can talk to him in my writings, any time… because this is what I can do best. And this is what I have been left.

As far as I know about the Jewish customs – which isn’t much – now it’s shiva, the mourning, when people sit on the floor and speak about the beloved departed. I am speaking about him and about his loss here, without any ceremony.

Dying happens because it is one of the laws of life; nobody lives ethernally. And because each person in this world, me included, have our own fate, written even before we got born. There are things we can write ourselves, between the lines of the fate, giving to it our own choices’ colours. But the basic things are already chosen for us and we can’t undo those, no matter how much we’d wish.

I’ve grieved many times in my life, for various people I cared for. I’ve been overwhelmed with regrets, with “what ifs” to which there was no real answer. Neither now my questions would have any answer. It was just meant to be like this, with me away, unable to be there in person, with me remembering a last phone conversation, a last visit… Of course I could have phoned when I wanted to and I gave up, thinking that he might have been at dialysis that day and he might have been tired.

Unlike others, I really do believe that everything happens for a reason. I don’t think these are mere platitudes, but simple truths. Indeed, some things in life cannot be fixed; they can only be carried. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t make us stronger. They do, in time. And that, no matter that we can’t see why these things have happened, there is a reason, unknown to us. So is the call of the death, reaping one or another of our family members and teaching us to mourn. It simply was meant to happen, and God chooses the day, not us.

Grieving, healing and transformation can occur – and they will, in their own time. It is a different timeline for each person, even for siblings who grieve for the same father. Everybody figures out, in time, how to live, how to carry what we have lost, how to weave a new mosaic for ourselves and keep the essence of the lost one in it. So will I. Because my father will live forever in our thoughts, in our memories. Not only mine and my sister’s; he had grandchildren, grand-grandchildren old enough to remember him playing with them, nieces and nephews, other people whose lives he had touched.

Someone was telling me today, together with her condolences, that my father was always spoiling her with crème caramel and cherry pie.

Another, that they had a discussion with him a few months ago, there…

At my turn, I remember the first time we met, when I was fifteen; the first time I visited him in his home, which seemed to me a palace of treasures with so much music there. Now that I am living in this place which had been his, for 11 years already, it is a different place of treasures… but his memory is stronger, in every wall. And I am glad it is. My father lives forever in our memories, in our hearts.

If we could bring you back again,
For one more hour or day,
We’d express all our unspoken love;
We’d have countless things to say.

If we could bring you back again,
We’d say we treasured you,
And that your presence in our lives
Meant more than we ever knew.

If we could bring you back again,
To tell you what we should,
You’d know how much we miss you now,
And if we could, we would.

2 thoughts on “Rest in peace!

  1. Thank you. It felt even stranger because I was so far away, I couldn’t go to the funeral or share my grief with the others. But writing is how I express my emotions, what I can do.

    When my oldest halfsister died, in 2003, it was the same. That time, he was the one to give me the phone call and to let me know. And I felt equally helpless and sad that I couldn’t go there, and I regretted that we didn’t have enough time together, but at the same time I was glad for the time we had together, knowing that it could have been none. But then he understood me without having saying much, and when he came back to my country, he brought me a sort of a memorial album he had made for me. I was impressed and I cherish it.


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