I looked, with growing sadness, at his Facebook wall, which is now covered in sweet words of consolation and stories revealing the greatness of the young man who is no longer in the world.
I sat with my eyes downcast. How unpredictable life can be, I thought. One day you're here, the next you are not. No guarantees, no promises.
It was quite the wake-up call before Rosh Hashana, when we proclaim that today we are all judged as to "who will live and who will die." We simply do not know what tomorrow will bring...
Many of us have dealt with loss; some have dealt with it very close to home. We all die -- that is the great curse of man. "For you are dust, and to dust shall you return." (Genesis 3:19)
Yoni Netanyahu, after being injured in battle, writes with powerful articulation about the need to cling to every moment of life: "You want to embrace it [life] and go on with it, to escape from all the blood and death, to live, live, even without hands and feet, but breathing, thinking, feeling, seeing, and taking in sensation."
To breathe in some fresh air. To smell a newly-blossomed flower. To dance to new song. To hold a loved one. Life is made up of a limited number of moments whether we use them or not. Whether we are thankful for them or not.
So, in honor of all the souls who are not with us this year, let us breathe some fresh air, appreciate a sunset, hug a loved one, end that stupid feud with our neighbor; and make this year a year of life!
This post is in memory of my dear friend David "The Boss" "Litch" Litchfield TZ"L (חיים דוד בן ר׳ יצחק מאיר הלוי) May his special soul rise to the highest heights of Heaven where he can dwell in the splendor of the One G-d. May his family and friends be comforted among the mourners of Israel.