Yes I know
It was your time
And what a time
You chose
To go

For Death did not
Catch you sleeping
You took HER,
On the HOW of it

As in all things,
You waited.

For Yom Kippur
That choicest of choice Days
You refused
Even to let me
Wet your cracked lips

“Ah,” I understood,
“Your food is spiritual now.”
Closed eyes, you nodded,
And I knew
Before long
You would be gone.

Just after dawn
Your chest,
That still-great
Box of wind,
Began to heave

I called them in
I had to share
Your precious last hour
I didn’t want to.

Three breaths from the last
You knit your brow

As a diver
Steadies himself
For that great leap
Two more breaths
And you were
No more.

I closed the dear eyes
Lowered bed to the floor,
Crying out
“SH’MAAA Yisra’el,
Adonai Eloheinu,
Adonai Echaaaddd…”


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  1. Thinking of you.

  2. May you find comfort in his memory…my thoughts are with you.

  3. savemefrombpd

     /  June 21, 2015

    May your father’s soul live on in olam ha’ba where he has a high level, complete everlasting peace and the best of everything, as he deserves . Z”L.

  4. Oh Laura you brought tears to my eyes didn’t think of my dad till I read your poem sadness is yours today
    But at least there was a love thought in your heart
    I feel you my friend

  5. Your always welcome Laura

  6. I feel this is a beautiful tribute to your father on Father’s Day.

    SH’MAAA Yisra’el,
    Adonai Eloheinu,
    Adonai Echaaaddd…”

    What do these words mean?

    Hope you and Noga are doing fine.

    Love and light

    • Thank you, Ashu. The Sh’ma is the central prayer of the Hebrew/Jewish people. It is the equivalent in many ways of the Gayatri mantra. It declares the absolute Oneness of God and the Universe, and that we, the Children of Israel (Jacob), are an indelible part of that eternal Oneness. For those who actively practice, this prayer or declaration is the last thing upon one’s lips upon going to sleep at night, and upon dying. It is also part of the morning and evening prayers. And if the one who is dying is unable to say it for themselves, the one nearest to them says it on their behalf. Like the Gayatri, there are whole books full of layers of meaning, so rather than a literal translation which would just be confusing, I’ve explained it in this way. Hope this helps!

      • Thanks, it certainly helped as you know the equivalent in Hindu mythology as well

        • Hi Ashu, it amazed me, when my Brahmin Priest Guru and I began comparing Hebrew and Hindu sacred utterances–prayers and mantram–that the inner meanings were essentially the same, framed of course in the world-view of our different cultures, but nonetheless, in the deepest sense, the same attempt to intimately know the Divine Essence. Interestingly, although Hinduism is polytheistic, Dr. Sundar explained to me that this is an attempt to understand and make accessible the many manifestations of the divinity that is the One, Om. So it is with us too, although we don’t assign personages or personalities to the many manifestations of the One, we do have many Divine Names which are known and taught only to certain seekers. Mainstream Judaism denies that this is so, for reasons exactly opposite to why Hinduism has many gods in One. Now how is that for confusion LOL!!! I’ve promised Dr. Sundar that I would write and publish a scholarly paper on our comparative cosmology work, but so far have not kept my promise. The time may be approaching.

  7. Midwestern Plant Girl

     /  June 22, 2015

    I wish you comfort.
    There is never going to be a replacement for him in your life. Hang on to all the good memories and try to smile at a few. The pain will always be there, but it will visit less often over time.
    Hugs 😢

    • Thank you so much, dear Ilex. Those are truly words of comfort.

      I am in the High Desert of New Mexico now, and the wildflowers are going crazy in the early monsoon rains. Many important medicinal herbs! I’ve taken lots of photos, and today or tomorrow I need to go to the ranger district and get a flower ID key. Post to follow! xxx

  8. Randstein

     /  June 27, 2015

    A beautiful tribute, Laura, and the comments were also enlightening. It is touching that you were able to be with your father and that he knew you were there for him. I’ve often felt it was the passing of others dear to us that teach us to live in a more meaningful way. It is the final gift of a loved one’s spiritual transition that cements them in our memory, their example a guidepost for us.

    • Thank you! What’s most interesting to me is that although I have a veritable gallery of him and his work through the years hung, and I look at them several times a day and smile, those images seem to belong to someone else. I look at them and say, yep, that’s my dad, all right. But in my heart and mind I see/feel the complete openness, the falling away of ego, the whispered confessions, the millions of kisses, the black humor shared, the constant holding of hands, the sharing of pre-death-visions (post on that topic incubating), and of course the final suffering and ultimate leap into the Unknown…This is his final gift to me, and has shaped for me an entirely new world view.

      • Randstein

         /  June 27, 2015

        Your father was a true artist in every sense of the word. His gift to his world, left in your safe keeping. My maternal grandmother was like that. I remember her allowing me to sit with her as she did different things. She encouraged me in all manner of crafts and art but never judged my dismal failures. Decades later, those artworks hang on my 100 yer old grandfather’s walls and every time I look at them, I’m a child again. 🙂


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