A year ago we placed my father’s body to rest. That event began my year of mourning for him. Today, 29 Teves 5776, on the first anniversary of that event, I visited his grave. Today, at nightfall, marks the end of that year of mourning. I began the year at the cemetery and ended it at the same location.

Did I really end the year in the same location?

Perhaps physically…certainly not spiritually or emotionally.

A year ago I was painfully raw. There was a gaping hole in my life, much like the gaping hole in the earth that awaited my father’s coffin. Today, I’m sad, and I still miss my dad. Yet the hole has closed a bit. When I saw the soft green grass over the grave, I felt hope.

The two visits encased the year, much like bookends do for books. I imagined the clipper ship bookend on my bookshelf…


…it holds up my books. Perhaps the visits were spiritual bookends, supporting me so that I stand straight.


That clipper ship will set sail this evening toward the seas of Playful Adventure, Enthusiastic Activity, and Lively Wanderings. You’ll know when the ship passes your area – listen for the sound of joyful music!


L’ilui nishmas Yoel Meir ben Simcha. (For the elevation of the soul of Yoel Meir, son of Simcha; Joel M. Sandleman.)