My first funeral as an Israeli

I don’t really understand why I am so affected.

I only knew this woman and her husband briefly. We were in the same ulpan together. She was a petite French woman with that older lady red-orange hair and signature Coco Chanel lip paint. She was sweet and always helping her husband in class because her Hebrew was catching on much faster than his was. She spoke to me in French and loved the fact that I shared her name. I would see this couple on the autobus and they would be so nice to me even though we didn’t understand each other ( a smile and good energy is a universal language). They made aliyah to get away from the antisemitism in France and they also chose to live by the sea.

Today, I will attend her funeral. She died two days ago on Yom Shabbat. I was devastated when the text came through. I gasped. I didn’t have words. I wondered what happened to her because isn’t that the first thought that we all have when we hear someone passed away?

Yesterday I finally asked and this is where I became delirious. Chaya died of fucking cancer.

Oh My GD! I lost it (I’m crying as I type this). Immediately, I started to wonder if the angels of death came for the wrong person (I know, how fucking morbid) because in class sometimes when my teacher would roll call I would say פה (here) and she would say not you Chaya, the other one. I don’t know why I am making this about me (clears throat, narcissist anyone) at all because we are all on our own time but I have to be honest with you. For a split second I just couldn’t breathe.

I didn’t realize how fragile I really am. Like it has been two years since I heard the words that would spin me and the life that I knew upside down. I am realizing how having an experience with cancer (front line battlefield type of shit) will always be with me even on my best days.

Today I will attend her funeral and I will say a prayer for her husband and for her family.

Today I will say a prayer for myself and be grateful that at this moment I am alive and I will continue to live until I can not anymore.

Life is not promised to any of us.

Live your lives while you can.


About the Author
Breast cancer warrior with a desire to inspire. Join me on my journey as I explore the Land of Milk and Money (and NO, that is not a typo) as an Olah Chadisha that has been given a new lease on life.
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