Two Years

An excerpt of the Mourner's Kaddish on the front cover of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 2, 2018 (image courtesy of Brian Burke)

Two years.

Two years since waking up to the frantic calls and texts on that gray and gloomy Shabbat morning.

Two years since trying to locate nearly every friend and acquaintance in the city. 

Two years since the Facebook messages and texts from people all around the world poured in.

Two years since coming together on a corner in the heart of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood as the rain drops pounded the ground and soaked through our boots.

Two years since learning someone I knew was killed in an antisemitic terrorist attack.

Two years since firmly grasping the fact that Jews can be murdered simply for being Jews in the safest diaspora community in our history.

Two years since my illusion of security was shattered.

Two years since knowing life was never going to be the same.

Two years since crying myself to sleep.

Two years (tomorrow) since gathering in a packed auditorium and not knowing what to say. 

Two years (in three days) since going to a funeral no person should ever have to experience.

Two years (in six days) since the Aramaic text of our ancient mourning prayer headlined a local newspaper.

Two years of mourning, grief, fear, anger, sadness, pain, and helplessness.

Two years of thinking about tragedy nearly every day.

Two years of feeling anxious whenever I hear a siren in the neighborhood.

Two years of trying to move forward but not on, since that is impossible.

Two years of everything being different than it was before.

Two years since 10/27/2018.

Two years. 

About the Author
Brian Burke is a Pittsburgh native and 2019 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where he studied political science, history, and Jewish studies. In college, he was involved with Hillel and the David Project, holding several leadership positions including president of the Pitt Hillel Jewish Student Union in 2018. Like many early 20-somethings, he is figuring out what comes next amidst the health and economic uncertainties of these times.
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