Lots and lots of Kleenex®. Sunday is the unveiling of Dad’s grave marker. In the Jewish faith they may unveil the marker after the initial 30 day mourning period or as long as a year later. March 23rd it will be a year since Dad passed. The stone is going to be beautiful; I saw the proof the engraver sent to my SIL. Pink marble (it’s nicer than it sounds) and his name in both English and Hebrew.
There’s another tradition Jews practice with respect to visiting graves. If you ever watched Schindler’s List you may recall seeing survivors leaving stones on Schindler’s grave. I didn’t recall that scene but I’ve witnessed the practice in other movies and read about it.
My Jewish Learning talks about the origination of this practice and the fact that no one really knows for certain how or why it started.
From the website: “All the explanations have one thing in common–the sense of solidity that stones give. Flowers are a good metaphor for life. Life withers; it fades like a flower. As Isaiah says, “All flesh is grass, and all its beauty like the flower of the field; grass withers and flowers fade” (Isaiah 40:6-7). For that reason, flowers are an apt symbol of passing.”
“But the memory is supposed to be lasting. While flowers may be a good metaphor for the brevity of life, stones seem better suited to the permanence of memory. Stones do not die.” (Italics mine.)
I like that – “the permanence of memory.”
Our daughter K emailed last week to ask whether I thought it was an okay idea for her to have a stone engraved with a message from her to leave on the grave. This is what got me thinking of the tradition and I immediately asked to join in her plan. She wasn’t sure then what she wanted on hers but I knew right away what mine would say.
Father of My Heart
I’ve posted before about my feelings for this wonderful man. If you’re a regular reader you’ve more than likely read that post so I’m not going to link to it here. If you haven’t read it and want to you can find it in my archives.