Elie's Expositions

A bereaved father blogging for catharsis... and for distraction. Accordingly, you'll see a diverse set of topics and posts here, from the affecting to the analytical to the absurd. Something for everyone, but all, at the core, meeting a personal need.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Dear Aaron: One Year Gone

Dear Aaron,

Has it really been a year since we've seen your face?

Has a whole year passed since the day since you breathed your last, with mom and me by your side, and then serenely crossed over where we could not follow? In the Jewish calendar we marked your halachic year - your yahrzeit - over a week ago. But in our family we always celebrated English dates too, and the date of May 16th will be forever seared into my psyche, even as it is carved on your matzevah.

A year? In some ways it feels like just a few days; in other ways, it feels forever. When we both said our goodbyes last year on this date, I was literally a different person, living a very different life than the one I now have. I often feel that the day you left us, things changed for us almost as much as they did for you. Yet while I have perfect faith that you are in the best Place possible, enjoying a lichtege gan eden as Rabbi K. always puts it, the rest of us have not been as fortunate.

I knew from the start that losing you would hurt more than anything I ever experienced. But I don't think I had the slightest idea how profoundly it would affect every other relationship in the family. Your were our pillar of strength, our stabilizing force, a leader and guide not only for the other kids but in many ways, for mom and me as well. I'll be totally honest now, just as I always tried to be with you: we're foundering.

Over the past ten months, since starting my blog, I have poured out my heart and soul writing about you. And today, for the first time since I felt your spirit leave last year at this very day and hour, I am writing directly to you. The former has been helpful to me, but has also felt just a bit intrusive, an affront to the privacy that you always held so dear. (I hope that you can forgive me for this, just as I've asked you at the funeral to forgive all those times that my time was too brief or my temper too short for you.) The latter, somehow, feels more right - as if I'm really just talking to you one on one, and it doesn't matter so much that others may be listening too.

Maybe today can be not only the anniversary of an ending, but that of a new beginning as well. I won't expect any comments (do they have blogger up there?) but I know that somehow, you'll be listening - and appreciating.

Talk to you again soon.

Love forever,



At 5/17/06, 5:32 AM, Blogger Alan aka Avrum ben Avrum said...

Dear Reb Elie,

Perhaps you are tiring of my blatherings, but at the very least,
it can be said and truthfully so that you have the sum total of my empathy!

You've a son named Benjamin, don't you? Perhaps you will do a favor for me ... and please forgive me any presumptuousness here as there is none intended, but why not spend time with your Ben as I can no longer do so with mine!?

I remain ...

Very Sincerely yours,

Alan D. Busch

Alan D. Busch

At 5/17/06, 11:12 AM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

That was heartbreaking and beautiful.

At 5/17/06, 11:26 AM, Blogger Glen Holman said...

very moving

At 10/26/06, 5:16 AM, Anonymous Hila said...

Reb Elie,

I happened across your blog in my wanderings through the J-Blogosphere. Words cannot express how deeply moved I am by your words. May Aaron's name be for a blessing, that he touched so many lives and continues to do so to this day.

I cannot even begin to know what it feels like to lose a loved one so dear, one's own child, but my heart grieves for you and your family, and all who knew Aaron.

I believe you did feel his spirit leave when he passed from this world, I know because I felt it when my beloved grandmother passed away while I was holding her hand. For what it is worth, your Aaron has touched people who never knew him, but who will cherish his memory just the same. I know you write your blog for your own healing, but I am sure that you have helped far more people heal than you will ever know.



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