LAMENT FOR HIS BROTHER
On one of his journeys, he passed by his brother’s burial-place. There he paused and addressed him as follows:
“Is there a sea between me and you, that I should not turn aside to be with you, that I should not run with a troubled heart to sit at your grave-side? Truly, if I did not do so, I would be a traitor to our brotherly love. O my brother, here I am, facing you, sitting by your grave, and the grief in my heart is as great as on the day you died. If I greeted you, I would hear no reply. You do not come out to meet me when I visit your grounds. You will not laugh in my company, nor I in yours. You cannot see my face, nor I yours, for the pit is your home, the grave your dwelling-place! First-born of my father, son of my mother, may you have peace in your final rest, and may the spirit of God rest upon your spirit and your soul! I am returning to my own soil, for you have been locked under the soil. Sometimes I shall sleep, sometimes wake—while you lie in your sleep forever. But until my last day, the fire of your loss will remain in my heart!”
The Jewish man who wrote the poem above was born in 993, over a thousand years ago. How wonderful to know that the human heart never stops loving thru whatever Age or stage we may find ourselves. Like the last line says. ‘But until my last day, the fire of your loss will remain in my heart’! And that fire is part of what makes me write my blog!
I have a lament too re: my son Marc. I still can’t believe the crime ever happened in part, my heart wants to hold onto him and is repulsed when the event comes to mind. My lament is about ‘separation’, that we are on a different plane of existence. Marc’s still a great part of my day, my life but I still feel a twinge of resentment at times that I have to go thru this whole charade I’m going thru …. going thru the motions of life, writing a blog, living life after him. Can’t this stop and we go back to the way things used to be?
My emotions can’t fully accept Marc’s on another plane, but my mind rests in ….
I know that my redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand on the earth.
And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God; (and Marc)
Translation of poem by Leon J. Weinberger
Jewish Prince in Moslem Spain: Selected Poems of Samuel ibn Nagrela.
(Tuscaloosa and London: The University of Alabama Press, 1997).