Expected and not

There are moments I can prepare for and those I can’t.

I spent this past weekend at my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah in Santa Monica.

I know that the mourner’s kaddish is coming. It’s a moment we think about and pray for those who have died.

I don’t go to services that often and I’m not religious. And yet that prayer just rips me in half every time.

I know that before the service begins.

I feel it coming.

There’s nothing I can do about it. I’m going to feel my losses sharply and deeply.

It kind of surprises me. I’m not religious and yet that part of the service seems to speak right to me.

I’ve learned to embrace the prayer and sink into it and be comforted by others thinking about lost loved ones. Some are thinking of Kim and Elena too.

Some aren’t thinking of anyone or anything at all.

I remember being one of them.

I remember seeing someone near me truly grieving and feeling the moment through their eyes.

Friday night I sniffled through it.

Saturday morning Maggie had passed me a tissue by that point.

It was the second time that morning that she’d helped me through a tough moment.

The family gathered before the service to take pictures.

The photographer arranged us for our family’s group picture.

She waved towards me to ask who I was.

“I’m his uncle,” I said.

She waved me in closer.

“Are you married?” she asked.

I looked at her blankly.

“Where’s your wife?” she asked.

I just couldn’t find the words.

She wasn’t wrong to ask. I just lost all ability to respond.

Maggie said, “we’re together,” and walked over and quietly stood next to me.

We moved on.

Some days Maggie just astounds me. Saturday was one of those days.

Published in: on April 24, 2018 at 3:03 pm  Comments (2)