Subject: Deaths

Two months ago, my family and I joined a new synagogue. I have an old college friend who has worked at the synagogue for years. She was thrilled that we were becoming members. That week,  she asked me to help with a project.  I was to write condolence cards on behalf of the Bikur Cholim committee (see post called Bikur Cholim dated May 4, 2009). The first cards were easy to write. I felt like I was connecting with another human being who had also experienced loss. I counted it as one of my 1000 mitzvahs. The next week, I learned that the women whom I was agreeing to help had been doing this job for years and was thrilled to have a replacement.

In my inbox, the next week two emails arrived with the subject: Deaths from the synagogue secretary. It was a bit disturbing. I hadn’t thought about all of the family members to whom I would be sending these notes. It’s not that I don’t want to be part of this project since I am sure those notes are received and greatly appreciated by the recipients. I just keep thinking now that I am “behind on my assignment”  –  how did I get myself into this one? Being behind on this ongoing project, is almost worse than when I have  my own thank you notes to send out.

For now, I’ll try and keep up with the cards. When emails with the subject: Deaths arrive in my mailbox, I’ll try to jump. I will remind myself that the recipient on the other end of my card is grateful. Or I’ll call my friend and tell her that now I need help too.

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