Friday, September 18, 2009

For Maryam

Blue flower

I wanted my last post of the year to be simply wishes for a shanah tovah—a good year. And of course I still do wish everyone a good year, but I can’t put up a cheerful post the way that I’d planned to do.

Maryam died last night after a long illness. The funeral was at noon today.

Maryam was a long-time member of our minyan. Her good friend (and mine), Zelig, died on the first day of Rosh ha-Shanah last year. And now, on the last day of the year, Maryam passed away.

It feels strange to say “Shanah tovah” when you’ve just returned from a funeral, particularly the funeral of someone who was still young, whose parents are, to the best of my knowledge, still living. What is going through my mind right now is the line from the old Hebrew hymn: Tikhleh shanah ve-killeloteha; tahel shanah u-virkhoteha—may the curses of the old year end and the blessings of the new year begin. May it indeed be a good year for us all, with an end to sorrow and with the blessings of peace and consolation and joy.

May Maryam’s family and friends be comforted, and may Maryam’s sweet soul rest in peace.

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