We went to visit my parent's graves yesterday.
Now, between the Jewish high holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, it is customary to visit and remember our blessed loved ones.
We went to spend time with them, tell them how much we miss and love them, and how hard it is without them.
I was so moved by how beautiful my daughters spoke out loud to my parents in heaven--their words and tears were so full of sincerity for how they miss and love their dear Oma and Opa.
They could articulate what was so hard for me to say, but which weighs so heavy always on my heart.
We sat on the ground at the base of their headstone feeling their presence and hearing their words in memory and through my wife who has a special ability to somehow reach them.
My wife told me how she could see my mother literally dancing in heaven, and my dad always worrying about us and looking out for and telling us to be more religious...always, more religious.
I wiped the dust off that had settled on the stone over the last months, and wished that I could somehow magically, with whatever spiritual energy I could muster, raise them up and bring them back to us.
The thought of years or decades of going on and not being able to see and speak with them again, in person, is forever impossible for me to imagine.
The loss of my parents over the last few years has left an emptiness in my heart and keeps me asking myself, will I really be able to see them and be reunited with them again some day in heaven.
My daughter reassured me that energy, including our personal energy, never disappears, it only transforms, and my wife said that she could feel that they were okay and happy!
I recounted the joke my dad used to tell about not wanting to be buried at the edge of the cemetery, because that's where the water runs down, and he didn't want to get rheumatism.
I know how much they loved us and I could feel it sitting at their graves with the warmth of the sun over us and the cool breeze blowing against us.
I will live out my days, trying my best to emulate in my own way my father, who was a servant to the L-rd in all that he did, and who taught us strict right from wrong, and as my mother who took care of us no matter what challenges or suffering were faced.
Finally, we asked for their forgiveness for any wrongs we committed and for their blessing for what is to come.
I am grateful to them and G-d for every blessed moment with my family and to experience the beauty and learning of the world, until it is my turn to be gathered to my family and the L-rd in the after. ;-)
(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)