A brilliant lawyer, I only knew her as an acquaintance...but, enough to know how well-respected she was in the community.
She was close friends with two of my closest friends...so, I felt like I knew much about her through their words.
Sadly,I attended her funeral today and it touched me so deeply. Tears were rolling down my cheeks as the Cantor beautifully sang songs in honor of the deceased. And, when her very best friend got up to speak, she had us laughing and crying all at the same time. The stories that she told made me sad that I didn't have the chance to know this exceptional woman better....yet they made me smile to see the strong and meaningful bonds that she had with others.
Maybe it is my age. Maybe it was that her age was so close to mine. Maybe it was that I was sitting with and near my closest, dearest friends. Maybe it was watching her extended family in mourning...
Whatever it was, I found myself taking it all in.....in a very personal way.
I listened to the tales of her friendships...and, I thought about my own friendships and how much my wonderful friends mean to me. I listened to the stories of her community service and other accomplishments....and, I questioned whether I was doing enough in my life. I listened to the talk of "family" and I found myself missing my own family so deeply...and wishing that we could live closer so that we could share more of the everyday moments together.
I felt a little guilty when my mind was wandering to some of my own feelings instead of just concentrating on this remarkable woman's life and the void that she is leaving behind in the hearts of all whose lives she had touched...
I guess that funerals can have this affect on us. There is this realization of our own mortality and this need to embrace our lives with all that we can. We again recognize the importance of making the most out of each and every day as we get a glimpse of the finality of it all.
As my thoughts went to the many people in my life that I love so dearly, I wanted to be with them all at that very moment, hug them, and let them know exactly how I felt about them and their importance in my life.
As I left the synagogue and headed to my car, I made a decision to not wait until I experienced loss in life to live my life to the very fullest.....a very clear message that I took with me as I honored the life of the friend who had passed away.
I wish that I could have had the opportunity to thank her for this gift...