Wednesday, November 21, 2007

In Memoriam, Safta Shulamit

When my grandma died last night, my sister Tamar was in the shower. She was thinking of my grandma's suffering and quietly sang Shalom Aleichem, the family's beloved song for shabbat, as prayer that death will finely embrace her.

When my grandma died last night, my parents were with her. They were returning from a wedding and stopped by at the hospice. my father touched her forehead and said: "She's warm, but something's wrong". They called in the nurse who inspected her and told them: "she's dead. She waited for you and died".

When my grandma died last night I was at the opera, Watching Rossini's "Journey to Reims". In it, a group of travelers are stuck at an inn, unable to embark on a journey that would take them to the coronation of king Charles X of France. The modernist director chose to place the action in a grounded airplane.

Last night's loss turns the rather goofy libretto of "Journey to Reims" into an existentialist work. My grandma was anxious to die, but her airplane waited long for clearance. I don't buy any afterlife theory, but if she's reuniting with my grandpa there and with her former self, that would be a coronation.

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