Yom Kippur Yizkor

Sharing Our Music

Wednesday, September 22, 2015

Four times a year we gather for our Yizkor services to re-read in our thoughts the obituaries of our loved ones. At each of these services we are taken back to that terrible moment in our lives when the wound of our loss was open and fresh.

Perhaps with each passing Yizkor service it becomes successively easier to remember with clarity and with a smile the loving moments and words; the times spent together on vacation or at home; and family gathered around celebrating birthdays, anniversaries and special occasions.

For those of you who have lost loved ones this past year, you might be recalling the eulogies that the rabbi, members of your family and friends shared for your loved one. Perhaps it is a word of comfort from a close friend, or just their comforting presence giving you respite from the pain of grieving. Most often our memories are pleasant. Sometimes our memories are painful. There may never be an end to our mourning. Our lives and our loves are complicated. Mourning and its inherent emotions may manifest in a moment of surprise years later and at our seasons of remembrance, like this one. The power of our traditions understands this truth. This is one of the moments when we realize that love and loss, that happiness and bitterness, and grief and joy are two sides of the same coin.

At this moment, at this service, we come to realize as well that life is a flash of lighting, an echo, a cloud in the wind. In the wonderful film, Love and Mercy, Brian Wilson plays that brief tune for his love, Miranda. “Where is that from?” she asks. “Is it written down?” Wilson, adoringly holds her close, looks into her eyes, “It is from my mind when I saw you and now it is gone forever.”

We share our music with each other and then the music is gone; but the love we shared is afire that burns eternally until our last breath.

There will never be one like the person you are here to remember. You are marvelous. You are beautiful. You are unique. And, that is why, when you died, there was a tear.

At this moment, Yizkor will be a time to remember all those who touched our lives for the good. We gather in prayer and in appreciation for those who added meaning to our lives.

Amen.