A Daughter’s Farewell


It was the first seder night and for me, the 36th year I’d celebrated it at my parents’ table. And this year, it was truly a celebratory time. My father, Joe had just been discharged from the hospital following a week of unexplained neurological “events”; blinding headaches, episodic confusion and finally a fall following a momentary loss of consciousness. Now, we gathered—content that all that was behind us.

There were only eight of us around the table; Mom, Dad, Manny (my brother), Harry and me, and our three young children. So unlike years past when a crowded dining room table hosted aunts, uncles and cousins in addition to our immediate family. Tonight we sat at the kitchen table. The dining room table which, when not in use, folded into a lovely console remained unopened in my parents’ foyer; an omen of what lay ahead.

One comment on “A Daughter’s Farewell

  1. Amy on

    Very moving; congratulations on your new son, condolences on the loss of your father. In my experience(s), the doctors don’t really know how much longer a dying person has on this earth. And in some scenarios, the person seems to be “waiting” for the right moment – whether it’s the presence of one particular person, or the absence of all observers. Do NOT beat yourself up, nor the alleged “protectors” who prevented you from being with him at his very end.
    BUT, how terribly inconsiderate, to say the least, of those around you to “protect” you, to prevent you from saying your own private last goodbyes before the funeral service. That is a conversation that needs to be continued – how we, if we are to be considered adults, should be permitted to do what we feel we need to do; you weren’t hurting anyone, and you were doing what YOU needed to do.
    And how wonderful that naming your new son helps you feel so connected to your father, z”l.

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