Thursday, July 31, 2008

In Memory Of Jody W.

Jody passed away Tuesday after a long fight against ovarian cancer. The funeral was yesterday.

I met Jody when I sang in Zamir. She was a very unique person - perfect pitch, exacting sense of detail, defend of justice. The funeral was one of the most beautiful I have ever had to attend.

Because Jody knew that the end was near, she was able to plan her own service, and she would have been very pleased with the result. The service was held at Temple Beth Shaom in Framingham, where our friend S is the cantor. He spoke first to introduce the service. Then we, present and past members of Zamir Chorale of Boston, sang two pieces:

"Enosh" by Louis Lewandowski (Psalm 103: 15-17)
(English Translation from
As for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.
For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof knoweth it no more.
But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him,
and His righteousness unto children's children;

and "Adoni Ro'i Lo Echsar" by Gerald Cohen (Psalm 23..."The Lord is my Shepherd"...)

After we sang, first Jody's husband, and then her brother, spoke. Then two friends, one briefly and emotionally, and one for longer and very very thoughtful and beautiful. Then two women from choir shared thoughts together. The choir director chanted the Hebrew from Lamentations, and Scott followed with the English translation and his own comments, followed by the Memorial prayer.

Then came the car procession to the cometary, where the local Chabad Rabbi took over, for another moving (and hot!) service. It was a long afternoon, but a beautiful celebration of a special person.

Of course funerals always make me think about mortality and death and mourning rituals. On the T21 board, whenever someone suffers a loss, the other folks on the board come together in many beautiful ways to offer their support and sympathy. Many of the "customs" that have been developed on the board are not at all like Jewish customs (for example, for a non-Jewish funeral, we send cut tulips, reminder of the "Welcome to Holland" story so central to the modern experience with DS; at a Jewish funeral it would be very bad to display cut flowers, which are supposed to be for happy occasions instead).

On a happier note, last night I got to go out with my husband, to celebrate our "anniversary" of when we first met, 12 years ago. He is the one who keeps track of that, he's very romantic that way. We had sushi, and then spent an hour in the bookstore. We both believe we could live in a bookstore, given the chance...

My best friend from college, R, is coming up today for a few days visit. Yeah!


Diabolical Poet of the Doubting Grill said...

Hey sweetie.
Beautiful commemorative.
And I love a happy ending... enjoy the romance :)

xoxo Rose