Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Burial...

As the sun bakes down, we stand heads bowed
the body lowered slowly into the ground
in this place there's no ego, no one is proud
the scraping of spades the only sound

The wood splinters in my grip, biting my hand
pain vivid, in this moment, so surreal
an instance of clarity, I now understand
this is how the mourning feel

They stand off to the side, silently weeping
saying their last goodbyes
all that's left are memories, theirs for keeping
trembling, they wipe at their eyes

I'm struck by the silence, the finality
awaiting me at the end of my days
I shake, awash with humility
inspired to change from my ways

"From dust we came, to dust we return"
the man in black somberly states
when reaching that point, with no where to turn
ultimately, we fulfill our fates

The procession moves away, flanked left and right
moaning and crying, appearing bereft
I look back once more, memorizing the sight
just a small pile of dirt is what's left.

I had the merit of participating in a rare mitzvah yesterday: The burial of a Meis Mitzvah. A Meis Mitzvah is when someone dies, and there's no one to bury the deceased. To partake in the care of treating the body and going through the various things required is one of the few commandments that we learn has reward in this world, and it's pronciple remains in the next world.

The deceased in question was a woman who died this past August. As far as the hospital knew, she had no surviving relatives, and her body sat in the morgue until two days ago. At the end of the week, if someone hadn't claimed her, the city would have taken possession and given the cadaver to one of the medical schools. Somehow, a distant relative found out about it - or was found, for that matter - and thankfully rushed to claim the body.

May her Neshama have an aliyah...


The Dreamer said...

Beautiful writing...

Such unbelievable hashgachah pratis... and to think, you were able to be part of it...
"Eilu d'varim she'adam ochel peiroseihem ba'olam hazeh vihakeren kayemes lo l'olam habah..."

jewmaican20 said...

I know... when I heard about it, I jumped at the chance. This si one of those major ones that don't come around too often...

David_on_the_Lake said...

what a zechus...

well written

Reb Y. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reb Y. said...

it should be a zechus for you

Bas~Melech said...

Wow, what a mitzvah.

And what a way with words!