On a personal note…
Today marks a year since my mother died. She was blessed to live to the age of 93, grateful to God for every day of her beautiful life. And she said so in a StoryCorps interview recorded when she turned 90.
I played the clip at her funeral. Her voice came wafting through the sound system at the end of the service, surprising everyone in attendance. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place as 200+ people left the chapel.
Then came the shiva. One week of intense mourning when friends and family came to extend condolences and to make minyan, where we prayed together as me and my brothers said the Mourner’s Kaddish. It’s a simple prayer where we honor the deceased by reaffirming our faith in God.
Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world, which He has created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen. May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity. Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen. May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen. He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all of Israel; and say, Amen.
It’s a holy recitation.
Every Sabbath for the past year, I stood up while others sat silently, and I said the Mourner’s Kaddish along with other people in my community commemorating the passing of their own dearly departed.
It ends tomorrow. My last Mourner’s Kaddish for a while until the designated holidays and anniversaries roll around, and then I’ll say the Mourner’s Kaddish again, and again, and again.
Religion has a lot of rituals, and I’m glad about it. It keeps me grounded while it helps elevates the soul of my beloved Mother, and my dear Father, who rest together with their parents, and loved ones, in heavenly peace.
Praise be to God, who has blessed me, my family, my friends, and all the living and dead with eternal life.