A friend of mine suddenly passed away as a senior in high school, seven years ago last month. My high school arranged school buses to take us to the funeral and had counselors on hand for us to talk to. But only one thing sticks out in my memory: the sound her father made, standing over her grave, watching as each person took her turn shoveling on dirt. The following is a short piece that I wrote a couple years later.
I remember the sound he made as his eldest daughter was lowered into the ground. It was the most heart-wrenching sound I had ever heard. It was like a broken shofar blast, a prayer and a cry to G-d that was so full of pain that no words could begin to express it.
I remember how he gathered his next daughter to his chest, trying desperately to hold on to her, keep her safe; how he was surrounded by all five of his surviving children as they all looked on, dazed.
I remember how his wife was stoic as could be, not shedding a tear that we could see. She spoke the eulogy calmly and cleanly, outwardly accepting her eldest child’s death, inwardly torn to tiny little pieces.
But most of all I remember the sound. The pure, inarticulate cry of unallayed grief that only one who has lost a child can possibly comprehend. It is the sound of a soul, devoid of words to say and filled only with intense feeling, calling out to G-d.
We all miss you, Tanielle. A"H.