Sunday, September 12, 2010


My friend Tal fell off his roof yesterday morning and died. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around that. Today was the first morning since his birth that he did not wake to see. I saw him Friday night at synagogue. We sat next to one another, close enough that I could hear him singing some of the tunes with his lovely voice. We ate dinner together later. He was in his early 60s and left behind his wife and their two grown children. He and his wife have been together forever. I can’t imagine how she will cope with such a sudden loss. No illness or preparation. No time to get used to the idea, just having the finish arrive. Her husband is abruptly gone. Tal worked in construction his whole life and would likely be one of the most sure-footed people on a roof. I don’t know the details of what happened, but must still wonder that one misstep, one off moment, one blip, sent a good man beyond the reach of those who love him. Ironically, he and his wife had just moved her mother, who is in her 90s, here to be near them. So how does one person live into their 90s while another falls off a roof in his early 60s? My new meditation on death comes from watching all of LOST: Love, Remember, Let Go. Loving is easy, what we do every day. Remembering will happen on its own, whether invited or not, and will often break our hearts. But the letting go is the most difficult one.


Bodhi said...

Marcia Brooks just wanted to use the opportunity to offer my condolences to the whole community over Tals' death. May his memory be for a blessing.

Bodhi said...

When I was feeling down, Tal would say encouraging things to me until I felt better. I'll never forget the clever costume he came to Purim wearing a couple of years ago: a cat. He not only wore the costume, but he also embodied the character.

On Friday, I ran into Tal at the hardware store. We chatted about my new property, and he waited for me at the cashier. We chatted as we walked to my car, and then he helped me load the big boxes into the car. I found it remarkable that there was no plan, yet we each took one side of the box and lifted it together in perfect harmony. And then he went on his way.

Again and again, I ponder how alive he was that day, and how dead he was the next. Although I didn't see his lifeless body, its image is plaguing my thoughts. I convey my blessings to Helen, Max, and Marissa, who have to wake each day to a life without Tal.