Tag Archives: Bereavement

Honoring Judy~the Light, Love, Laughter and Lift in my father’s life.

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The altar I made for Judy as she was taking her last difficult breathes on this earth.

This incredible woman Judith Senior Barchilon died the other day. She was responsible for bringing a smile to my father’s face and for joy in him that I had never previously experienced him having. Their love story is important, even though it has sadly ended. Their love hasn’t ended just their being together in this world has-—and it is very hard.

Judy was a very private person, I still don’t know enough about her, even though she and my father have been together for the last twenty years. I hope to learn more about her from her grandchildren and daughter and my father as I want to honor her memory accurately.

I always tell folks who are lonely or who have given up on love, my father and Judy’s story. My father was 75 years old when he reconnected with a woman he briefly dated while they were both getting their doctorates at Harvard post WWII. Judy and he had a date or two, but it didn’t work out for them at that time.

I’m glad it didn’t work then, because otherwise, I wouldn’t be here, and you wouldn’t be reading this. My mother and father needed to be together for my sister, my brother and myself to be born. It’s very hard for a marriage to survive the death of a child, and my parents’ marriage didn’t. Post my parents’ divorce my father dated a series of women and even married one woman. She promptly forbade me from entering his home, once they were married. I was eleven at the time. That marriage, was over right after I was forbidden entry to my home.

My father never gave up on love. He is a Moroccan, Mediterranean Man, full of intelligence, vigor, desire, passion, loyalty and persistence. These qualities led him eventually to Judy. One day, over his morning coffee, he was reading his Harvard Alumni journal when he saw a byline by Judith Merrill. He read the piece and recognized the writer as the woman who he had briefly dated over 40 years previous. He saw that she was living in Colorado Springs. Since he lived in Boulder, he sent Judy a note and asked her if she remembered him and would like to get together. The answer was yes, of course, she remembered him, and yes to getting together.

Well pretty soon they were living together and a few weeks later they were married. This 20 year love story has been such a gift to our joint families. My brother and I, as adults, got to experience a softer, kinder, happier man than we’d ever known. The two of them were inseparable. Knowing how bereft my father will now be is heart-breaking for all of us. At 94, he is recovering from his recent hip fracture and minor heart-attack post the surgery for his hip repair. He emerged with flying colors from this health crisis and is healing physically. Judy died within six months of her lung cancer diagnosis, just a month shy of her 86th birthday. She never smoked, was an amazingly health-conscious, fast walking and fit woman for all the years we knew her.

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At one point with my father, while he was in the rehabilitation center that Judy and he were sharing a room at, he said: “We didn’t do anything wrong. We just wanted to live our quiet sedate lives together.”

And, of course, death is not fair, nor is it about doing something wrong, in this circumstance, it’s just plain sad and unfair.

For Judy’s daughter and her grandchildren, the extremely quick and terrible decline in Judy’s well-being that led to her precipitous death, is also extremely sad. We are all so sorry to have lost Judy. What is not sad, is how all of us as a family, a co-joined family have taken care of each other. Even though the systems in place for caring for elderly folks, needing more care than they can give themselves, is woefully inadequate, we found a place for both my father and Judy to convalesce together when they were most vulnerable. Between my brother, his partner, my daughter, my youngest son, Judy’s daughter and family and myself, there were daily visits, extra care, foot massages, flowers, music, hand holding and a constant circle of folks present to offer love, and support.

This has been no small feat. This time of my life is about caring for family, so I’ve been able to spend a month at a time in Colorado and give respite and support. I will head back to Denver in a few days to spend the next month living with my father in his and Judy’s condo. Since Judy died, my children have been making meals for my father, along with my brother, and have spent time with him and slept there as well. He has not been alone, nor will he be from now on, which is how it should be, but not how he wanted it to be. He wanted to be with Judy. We can’t do that for him. But we can honor Judy by loving my father and by keeping him close and being there for him as he navigates whatever time he has left to walk this earth.

My brother wrote the following to let our extended family know about Judy’s last moments:

“I am very sad to inform everyone that Judy passed away early in the morning on the 7th of June.  The situation had become quite difficult for her, and I think the struggle was too great.  She showed incredible courage, grace, and wisdom in her final days.  She decided she wanted to be off life support, and requested that dad, Lynn, and myself be present. We were with her as the oxygen mask was removed and she was able to speak a little.  Her final words to my father were “you’ll be all right”.  Even as she was passing, she was concerned for him and acting to protect him.  Tom, Lilly, Kathryn, Shira, and Ethan were all with us too.  As a family, we were present for Judy as she let slip this mortal coil and finally found the rest and peace she had been wanting for so long.  It was very hard for everyone, but there was also an element of great beauty as well.  Judy chose to go at a time when she could say goodbye to all of us.  We stood silently with her after she passed, paying tribute to the most wonderful woman in the world, and honoring her courage, intelligence, determination, resilience and beauty.  She chose to donate her body to science, and did not want a funeral.  We will probably have a celebration of her life at some point in the future, and we will let everyone know.

Dad is heartbroken and devastated.  He is also handling it incredibly well.  I was expecting him to be suicidal, but he isn’t.  He said Judy told him to live, so he is going to do that.  Ethan and I spent the night with him when we came back from the hospital.  He surprised us both by saying he wanted to take us out to breakfast the next morning.  We went to Zaidy’s one of their favorites, and spent the morning talking about how wonderful Judy was, and sharing stories of her.  Dad moves fluidly between crying deeply (very healthy I think) to remembering and celebrating her.  He needs a lot of help right now, both physically and emotionally, so we are not leaving him alone.  Ethan is there 24-7 until Sunday night, Shira and I are alternating days coming in as well, cooking, holding, loving and being with him.  Nicole is flying out on Wednesday, and will move in to the apartment for a month to take care of him.

Long term, I think dad is going to move back to Boulder and move in downstairs.  He told me that Judy had often made him promise not to be a burden to his children when he aged.  I told him that wasn’t Judy’s choice to make, and that we all loved him very much and would rather have him with us than not.  I also told him that having him in Boulder would actually be easier than driving an hour each way every time he needed help (which has been pretty much daily for a long while now). He agreed that he thinks it is a good idea.  He likes being in the apartment and being reminded of Judy, and we will let him enjoy that for as long as he wants, and as he continues to heal and strengthen. ”  ~Paul Barchilon

Judy and I were about as different as two women can be, on the outside. I’m large, she was petite. I’m loud, she was soft-spoken. How we are the same has to do with our love for our families and our tremendous interest and desire to love and honor those who are part of our lives. Judy always made sure each member of the family had “special” time with my father. When I came to visit, she’d make sure my father and I always had our own dates together. She also made sure, the two of us did as well. We would get mani-pedi’s together and walk around their neighborhood. I could never keep up with her, she was the fastest walker I ever knew. She’s outpaced us all now, walking on the other side, with no encumbrances. I just put up the hummingbird feeder outside my kitchen window, in honor of her. She was a hummingbird, giving joy and full of nectar, she came in a small package but had an enormous heart and wow, what a great flyer! She is and will be missed.

As Judy was taking her last breaths she told my father to go on living, to not give up. She knew him so well. To honor her, he is making that effort. So, even from the other side, Judy is helping my father and giving him to us, once again. 

Papa.Judy.chez Paul
My father and Judy at my brother’s home many years ago, dancing, laughing and loving.

The territory of loss, Mourning the death of R’ Meshullam Zalman Hiyya ben Chaya Gittel ve Shlomo HaCohen

Reb Zalman z"l in celebratory prayer from the CU Boulder archives, photo by Marcia Prager
Reb Zalman z”l in celebratory prayer from the CU Boulder Archives Zalman M. Schachter-Shalomi Collection, used here with permission, original photo by Yehudit Goldfarb

 

I keep trying to get things done and find myself in a constant loop of looking at all the videos, and obituaries and documentaries and teachings of my great teacher Reb Zalman z”l (may his memory be for a blessing). I am wandering around crying or doing one thing or another for a few moments and then wandering back to my state of mourning. So, I am not getting much done. I am sharing links here to various video of him. This first one is only nine minutes or so of him being interviewed and is a sweet introduction.

http://www.jta.org/2014/07/03/news-opinion/united-states/rabbi-zalman-schachter-shalomi-father-of-jewish-renewal-dies

To understand the depth of my sadness and that of so many others you may want to look at the thirty or more different obituaries of him done around the world, or check out the various links I’m putting at the end of this post here. Some of you may have studied with this great man, others may have only heard of him.

It is through him and those he empowered to be rabbis and teachers that I came into relationship with Judaism, he is my spiritual father and grandfather as he is and was to so very many people. Our tradition has tremendously beautiful and powerful spiritual technology and process around death. When we write the name of someone who has died we do so by adding two letters at the end: Reb Zalman z”l (zichrono livracha (זיכרונו לברכה). The practice of inserting these two English letters Z’L is in abbreviation for the Hebrew words above, which can be translated to mean “may his or her memory be blessed.”

We mark seven days of mourning after burial and gather in the home of the person who has passed to tell stories, pray and offer support to the family. We light a seven-day candle to hold a space for light and memory in our homes for those we are mourning, mine is burning still.

Photos of my Rebbe, Flowers from my Garden and the Seven Day Candle
Photos of my Rebbe, Flowers from my Garden and the Seven Day Candle

 

I gathered with some folks at our congregation in California and told stories and said Kaddish for Reb Zalman z”l the day he was buried. I have been reading his books, and watching lots and lots of videos of him offering teachings. This is really all I want to be doing right now. Everything else has no draw or pull to it. I know that I am not alone in mourning right now, even though I sit alone at my home writing these words.

In a few days I will drive to my friend’s home in Oregon and we will tell stories and cry and sing and celebrate and mourn together our great teacher. We will swim in the river near her home and try to hold fast to all that has been given to us from him.

Luckily, he was truly wise and left behind a tremendous legacy. Reb Zalman donated his papers to Norlin Library in Boulder and there is a permanent Zalman M. Shachter- Shalomi Collection there. Additionally, there is a foundation, (the Yesod Foundation) dedicated to sharing his teachings and hundreds if not thousands of his students and their students will continue to make Judaism real, thriving, feminist, earth-friendly and alive.

I feel so grateful to have had the times I did with this maverick of a teacher and guide and I’m so sad I didn’t have more time in this world to study with him, directly. Now, I will have to spend years moving through all the media, papers, books and stories he has left behind. I will need to seek out and spend time with his closest students and  learn from them. This is not a sad thing, but something I long for and delight in.

When a great teacher dies, we are instructed to carry their teachings on and to offer in their name and memory. So, I am dedicating myself anew to studying better and more and devoting myself with greater zeal to pursuing Hebrew fluency, Torah Study, and time to davven (pray/commune) with Holiness in stillness and solitude as well as in communion with others, from all religious traditions.

” Joshua the son of Perachia would say: Assume for yourself a master, acquire for yourself a friend, and judge every man to the side of merit.” Pirkei Avot, Chapter 1:6

May you be lucky enough to have acquired/assumed a great teacher, like I have. If you haven’t yet found that great master consider this your invitation to dive into a body of teaching and work that will change and improve your life and the lives of all those around you.

These are just some of the links both to obituaries for my beloved teacher and also for you to explore in your own searches for wisdom, guidance and growth. I hope they will inspire you to look deeper and love stronger and bigger than you can imagine doing.

 

With Big Love and Lots of Tears,

More than One, Fifty years since my sister Paula’s Death, I remember….

Me, at the age, my sister Paula, died next to her grave in Boulder Colorado
Me, around the same age as my sister Paula when she died. I am sitting next to her grave (called the Lollipop grave) in Boulder, Colorado. This gravestone was commissioned by my parents, because while holding Paula they saw her interest in one of  DeWain Valentine’s watercolors, a heart shaped abstraction hanging in his studio. “Paula pointed to it with great animation and when we recalled that, after her death, we decided to commission DeWain to make it into a sculpture to mark her grave.”

 

Today, May 16, 2014 marks 50 years since my sister Paula died. I was inside my mother’s womb three and a half months from being born on that day. In this picture I am somewhere between two and three. My sister died three months short of her second birthday. Her death has marked my life as well as the lives of all our family. Death is a certainty for all of us, but no one wants a child to die or expects it.

I am truly a child of death, born into the grieving arms of my amazing and brave parents, who had to find love and presence to give me while being devastated about the loss of their firstborn beautiful child.

Every year at this time I light a Yahrzeit candle for her and remember her physical presence on this earth. This Jewish practice is so important to me and gives me a comfort that is beyond words. I feel connected to my sister across time and space and I remember her and honor her and recognize that her short time on this earth was real and deserves honoring.

Yahrzeit Candle and memory altar for Paula on anniversary of her death.
Yahrzeit Candle and memory altar for Paula on anniversary of her death.

My parents have gone through various different ways of mourning her over the last fifty years. There is no way to navigate the territory of the death of a child right or wrong. It is all wrong.

Everything about a child dying feels wrong and those who have to cross that territory know this in a way that others who have not cannot really speak to. I have not lost a child to death and I pray I never do, but that is not within my control. Death is a certainty, there is no way out of it.

The mainstream culture runs kicking and screaming from this reality, racing as fast as they can from the idea that we all have a date stamp on us, one that we don’t know and cannot see.

If you are a practicing Buddhist, you spend a very long time imagining and looking at your own death in all kinds of different scenarios. If you are a Tribally aligned person, from anywhere around the globe, you recognize that the spirits of those who have died are here on this earth either to help or teach or hinder us based on many different factors. If you are an African Dagara Shaman like Malidoma Patrice Somé , you have a frame-work of belief that holds you, as the progeny of an ancestor, responsible for their wrong actions and the beneficiary of their good actions. If you are Hindu, you are engaged in a circle and chain of lives lived across space and time over and over in various forms. If you are Mexican you will make a feast and an altar of memories and offerings for your dead once a year and recognize and remember them together. Here, we just foolishly hope death will go away and try to avoid the topic. I’m summarizing very deep and profound beliefs here and could write many long essays on each of these, and perhaps I will, or as we say in my tradition, “go and study.” If something here stimulates you to learn more or go deeper, maybe even into the burial root ground of your soul.

I have studied and do study death more than most folks in our society. I am a co-founder of our community’s burial society called a Hevra Kadisha. I prepare folks for burial according to Jewish tradition. I have been called by death from within the womb-safe belly of my mother. I met my sister in that liminal space between, before my birth and after her death.

She was my angel in all the dark nights of my childhood, a sweet presence that helped me find hope, or pointed out the right direction.

I visited her grave as a child and have always held a place for her in my heart.

Memoriam Collage by Helen Redman 1995
Memoriam Collage by Helen Redman 1995

When I was a teenager I would visit the graveyard with my friend Gretchen Reinhardt and we would attempt to rescue or put back together gravestones that had been vandalized.

I was never afraid in that graveyard. All those dead were my friends. It was a quiet, calm place where I didn’t have to feel all the pain of those around me. No one was teasing me or hurting me and I never felt like an alien in the cemetery. I was at home there, I still am. Death and I have always been in relationship.

Which is why everyday of my life feels like an amazing gift that I need to live fully and well. I am not running away from the knowledge that I will die, that all those I love and cherish will die. I am acutely aware of this and I know it in my cells and in my blood. My umbilical cord blood was saturated with the pain of my sister’s passing, my very core has been colored by her passing. This is not a sad story though, while at the same time being the saddest story.

I am more than okay now as I round the corner towards fifty and I pass this spot on the calendar and I touch her once again in the cycle of remembering. I know that there is more to death than an end. I know this in my body, heart and mind, in my Lev (Hebrew for Heart/Mind)  and in my soul and it is not just a comfort to me, it is a lifeline and a guiding force in my life.

I know this post will make my mother cry, but she and I have a long and deep understanding about honesty and truth-telling and being real with each other. We both have made and will make mistakes, but we are linked so very deeply in our connection to dealing with death honestly and with whatever we have to bring to the table around it. Others in my family do not often want to talk about Paula, but perhaps they will read this or maybe they won’t. My father used to take me to her grave as a child, this was not something I did with my mother. As an adult when I am in Boulder I visit her grave and place a stone on it.

Jewish folks bring stones to a grave, stones to mark that our memory for those who have left this earth is as long and durable and tangible as that of a stone or a rock. A rock has been around for millenniums and this symbolic act is our way of saying, “YOU are present for us still today.” It reminds us to do good and enact justice for those who are living. It reminds us to not throw stones, but to remember that everyone is precious and will be mourned by someone, so we shouldn’t go around killing folks EVER!

A rock says, I silently mark this territory and bear witness for you, even when you are in the ground yourself, I will still be here as a reminder of your presence on this planet, at this place.

Visiting my sister's grave October 2014, leaving stones and saying prayers and remembering.
Visiting my sister’s grave October 2014, leaving stones and saying prayers and remembering.

I have a mother who is an artist and who has been marking my presence and journey on this earth since before I was born into it. She has marked me with paint and pastel, with pencil and with cloth. Reminding me and anyone brave enough to visit this place of pain, death and life that we are always MORE THAN ONE.

We are all connected one to the other, now and forever and always and always.

I love you mommy and I love you Papa. I grieve for your loss, even still and especially, today fifty years later.

Thank you for loving me so deeply and magnificently!

Here I am, inside my mommy, right before I was born, more than one always!

More than One by Helen Redman, 1964
More than One, by Helen Redman, 1964

 

 

 

“In lieu of …..”

Tzedakah box (Pushke), Charleston, 1820, silver, National Museum of American Jewish History.
Tzedakah box (Pushke), Charleston, 1820, silver, National Museum of American Jewish History.

“In lieu of…,” these lines often appear in obituaries and funeral programs, encouraging people to make donations to various charitable organizations in memory of the person who has died. In the Jewish tradition, we do not want to spend money on death and prefer to give money to the living or those in need. This doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong with the ways of others. The idea being that when you donate money to an organization in the name of someone no longer on this side of life, you enable them to still be doing a mitzvah (good deed/good work). I love this idea and regularly encourage folks to give in honor of one they are missing. This makes the act of suffering into an act of offering and giving. Even small amounts, a few dollars to a homeless shelter or a kid’s soccer team, the amount is not important. What is important is the act of giving in the memory of someone. Also traditional is to give on that person’s birthday or the anniversary of some special event for you and the person who is no longer present.

This holiday season, consider giving “in lieu of” to a local non-profit organization. Instead of buying the person that already has everything a small gift, contributing instead to making someone’s life better in honor of the person they love is a great gift! I am a firm supporter of shopping locally and getting and giving gifts. I eschew large chain stores and endeavor to support all the local Arcata vendors and other smaller stores in our area; Northtown Books, The Garden Gate, and Belle Starr to name just a few. So, for the folks on your lists that need a gift or want one, by all means shop local, and get something for them. For folks who do not need another sweater, pair of earrings, or cute something or other, make a donation to a local organization in honor of them or in memory of a beloved person precious to both of you.

This idea is not mine. The rabbis I know encourage us to put money in our Tzedakah boxes whenever we have a pleasurable experience, or hear good news, or before any joyful event. A Tzedakah box is a regular feature in any Jewish home or congregation. It is where you place coins, or bills and the money is given away to others in need anonymously. You get no credit and the person receiving has no idea which particular family or people put money in. It is traditional to put some money in the box before lighting candles for Shabbat or a holiday. We teach our children about this practice and most young folks have memories of making a Tzedakah box in religious school, or of seeing their cardboard or other media creation proudly displayed on their parents’ mantles long after they’ve left home. The box is not important, but the act of regularly depositing small change or larger bills into the box is.

Tzedakah comes from the word Tzedek in Hebrew and has many meanings. It doesn’t mean charity even if it is most often translated that way. It is better translated and linked to the English word “justice.” Charity, connotes choice; when I have something left over to give I make a donation. Tzedek is an entirely different concept. We are instructed in the Torah to pursue justice all the days of our lives. The word used is Tzedek.

The injustice and imbalances in the world are ours to fix, there are no ifs, ands or buts about this, once you accept the mantle of caring for the planet and those on it.

It is my job to fill the Tzedakah box and to pursue justice, yesterday, now and tomorrow. Even our final act as Jewish folks is supposed to be holding a coin and depositing it into a Tzedakah box as we chant a prayer. Dying consciously, for those who can, depositing/offering and continuing the work of helping to create justice in this world, doesn’t have to be a practice reserved just for moments of transition. As the rabbis suggest, make a donation when you hear good news from the doctor, or when you learn of a new birth, or if you have a particularly delicious kiss or encounter…Turn your joy and your love or your sadness or loss into goodness for others this season. Elevate your giving into the world beyond as well as making this one better.

 Nicole pursues justice, gives, thinks, shops, prays and loves locally and hopes you will do the same!

Column for The Mad River Union: Published Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Life and Death Matters

Life and Death Matters

by Amanda Devons & Nicole Barchilon Frank

 And the days of Israel drew near to die, and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him: If now I have found favor in thy eyes, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal with me kindly and truly; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt.” (Genesis 47:29)

The eleventh century commentator Rashi said about this passage: “The kindness which is shown to those who are dead is a true kindness (literally, a kindness of truth) for then one does not look forward to the payment of recompense.”

In 1999, around three years ago, in Eureka the Humboldt Hevra Kadisha was formed. Chevra or Hevra Kadisha means “Sacred Society.” It is more commonly translated as “Jewish Burial Society.” For more than 2000 years, as Jewish communities formed throughout the world, a Hevra Kadisha was one of the first groups to be organized in order to attend to the preparation and burial of the deceased in accordance with Jewish law. Our Humboldt Hevra Kadisha, meets regularly to discuss the work we’ve been doing, learn more about ritual, tradition, and practices, and to find out what needs we have. At our last meeting, we had in attendance both men and women. This was very gratifying because the ritual of tahara is done by men for males and by women for females.

Some of us discussed our feelings about our recent experiences doing tahara. Although it was agreed upon that this is not an easy task, physically or mentally, members of our group said it was one of the deepest spiritually meaningful things we had participated in. Responses from our group have been very positive. People feel they have “been transported to other realms,” “gone to the gates of death and found life,” “received extraordinary spiritual strength” “departed from the mundane and touched the holy!” The work deepens our understanding of life and makes us better able to truly live our lives.

It is difficult to find time in our busy lives to stop and do this work. Often, we have to be available in the middle of the afternoon. Returning to work feels very bizarre! We have also found that having some quiet meditative time together as a group before we begin is very important. Traditionally, men and women do mikva (ritual immersion in living waters), before re-entering their daily lives. Even if we can’t do everything the best way, we all know we are striving to be of service to the person who has passed away. The deceased is referred to as the met (for a man) or meta (for a woman) and by their name (Hebrew name when possible).

Some Terms and Definitions:

Shemira–watching over the body. The body is normally covered with a sheet or blanket upon death. We sit Shemira until the met has tahara and is laid to rest in a closed casket. We also sit shemira with their casket until the person is buried. This practice of maintaining a vigil so that the deceased’s body is never left alone is designed to comfort the neshama (soul) before it ascends to heaven. Selected Tehillim (psalms) are read aloud in either English or Hebrew.

Tahara—the preparation of a deceased’s body involving washing and dressing, by someone of the same gender, accompanied by prayers seeking forgiveness from the deceased and asking for eternal peace. After washing the met is dressed in a shroud of simple pure white linen or cotton, and then wrapped in a sheet called a sovev for burial.

Gemilut Hasadim—support services for the mourner and his or her family. This includes making funeral arrangements, holding a graveside service, and bringing the necessary siddurim to read prayers and shovels to cover the simple wood coffin with earth. Other services include bringing food to the house of mourning, finding a minyan (group of ten Jewish folks) to say Kaddish, and attend to the mourner who is sitting shiva. This is not the traditional purview of the Hevra Kadisha, but due to the small size of our community, we often find ourselves doing this task as well.

Chesed shel emes—the ultimate good deed, since those who perform the deed can never be repaid for their kindness. The members of the Hevra Kadisha are often called upon to serve with little or no notice, since they must spring into action promptly upon death.

Some ways you can get involved:

Even though a person may not have been active Jewishly in their life, they or their families might desire a Jewish burial. If you know anyone not affiliated, and feel comfortable discussing the matter, let them know about the beautiful practices of our tradition. Perhaps you can show them this article.

We need 100% white or off-white cotton or linen material for burial and or sheets to wrap the met in. If you have any white all-cotton sheets, please contact Nicole to donate. (We don’t actually need folks all over the internet to send us sheets!)

Because our services are often needed with very little notice, extra volunteers to help with any part of the process are very welcome, especially the Gemilut Hasadim. We have had great help from many of you.

Our Hevra Kadisha has a form that we are currently working on improving. This form looks at wishes concerning burial, funeral services, internment, memorials, etc. It is very important, within our tradition, to think about end–of–life issues. They often arrive suddenly, as we have painfully been learning of late. Communicating our wishes prior to emergencies makes everything easier for those we love and who love us. Start thinking now about what you want for yourself and those you love. We will be sending you a form to help with this process in the coming year.

~ From the Temple Beth El, Eureka California Newsletter