AT THE GRAVELayered stories of a life history are told
Gently enveloping mourners in a blanket of memory.
Prayers of lament elevate the soul heavenward
Drawn towards the gates of transformation.
With intentional concentration
Ropes lower a plain pine box into the ground
Burying body and coffin in the belly of mother earth
As shoveled dirt eerily reverberates
Piercing the veil between this world and the great beyond.
Dirge-like words of Kaddish are intoned in muted voices
Aligning in hallowed resonance with all
Who have ever stood at the grave of a loved one.
Then with few words of soothing solace
Broken, bereaved and beckoned into an
Unknown valley of grief
Mourners file through supportive columns
Of community healing, hope and consolation.
The funeral is over
The journey of a lifetime comes to an end.
Now the rest of life awaits.
Such is the way of death.
A WOMAN OF VALOR – For Purple RoseA woman of unbounded vitality and creativity who can find?
She is worth far more than all the amethyst necklaces and rings she wears
She often amazes her husband, children and grandchildren
As she spins around like a whirling dervish
With at least a half dozen projects
Of poetry, cooking, art, business and Jewish learning
She brings her family love, and lots of letters, emails and phone calls
all the days of her life.
She wears long flowing garments of purple, of course
Brought by merchant ships, from the bazaars of India and Southeast Asia
And also from the her sister-cousin Rose’s bazaars held at Julie’s garage
She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family
Blintzes by the dozens, roasts, soups and jams
Strawberry, raspberry, peach and plum among her favorites
Sharing her delights with beloved family and friends
And yes our woman of a valor is a businesswoman too
She sets about her work vigorously;
Her fingers are strong for her tasks of dialing the phone
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She sees that her travel agency is profitable,
And her lamp does not go out at night.
In her hand she holds a pen, sending greetings and invitations
Always welcoming new and old friends to her lovely home.
And when it snows, she is delighted
It reminds her of her beloved hometown of Ste. Agathe
Her husband is respected at the city gate,
He takes his seat among the elders of the House of Israel Congregation
And wanders up and down the aisles of Canadian Tire and Jean Coutu. Yes our beloved Bubby Rose, Rosie is clothed with strength and dignity;
And she can laugh at the pain of days gone by
And the unknown mystery of days to come.
She speaks with wisdom, and honest words are on her tongue.
She watches over the affairs of her household and of Castel Royal
and does not kvetch (too much) in the face of Parkinson’s and aging.
Her children, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, brothers, sisters-in-law, and nieces arise and call her blessed;
And her beloved cousin Rose and adopted daughter Joanne watch over her
And we all praise her saying
“Many women do noble things,
But you Rosie, you have surpassed them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
But a woman who has lived life with such passion is to be praised.
We honor you our woman of valor!
May your works bring praise at gates of Gan Eden
Rose Geiger Paull – Shoshana bat Todris v’Minga
You’ve done your job and you have done it well
Tehei Nishmatah Tzrurah b’Tzror HaHayyim
May Her Soul Be Welcomed Back to the Source of Life.