Today, 29 Shevat 5775 (Feb. 18, 2015), was the 30th day since my father’s burial; it’s a turning point in my mourning. I move into a different level of mourning with some of the limitations lifted. This journey is gradual, slowly moving me from intense grief to less intense grief. I’m gently guided through the process of feeling pain, conjuring up warm memories, learning, and growing.

This morning I thought of Dad’s essence – who he was at his core. Some of the key lessons called out: do the right thing and love family and friends. His warm, radiant smile that lit up his face. And yes, his struggles. Toward the end, he struggled with faith. During his life, he struggled to make sense of the challenges he faced. He never did make peace with the war experience…I don’t know how he would have done that, given what he saw (which he never discussed in detail).

What can I emphasize in my life because this man was my Dad?

  • Live ethically and morally
  • Love my family for who they are
  • Focus on the solution
  • Don’t give up on someone you love
  • Stay focused on a goal that’s worthwhile

And I add this premise: Keep Hashem in the picture as I work toward the goal.

  • Always grow…emotionally, spiritually, and in learning.

For me, “growing” means learning more about Hashem and His Torah and applying the lessons to my life.


May these words and my studies over the past 30 days be merits for the elevation of my father’s neshama (soul) – Yoel Meir ben Simcha.

With tremendous gratitude to Rebbetzin Lori Palatnik and Rabbi Yaakov Palatnik for Remember My Soul (K’hal Publishing, ©1998, 2006 & second printing July 2013). This inspirational sefer (book) guided me – and continues to guide me – through this process.