Sitting Shiva – Abigail Warren

As God comforts the bereaved, so man must do likewise.
Let me tell you what they did, Steve. Before the Rabbi came in, they hid the sausage pizza; they took the cheese off the meat platter. The Rabbi kissed your mother on the cheek. He was friendly enough for someone who didn’t know the family. He pulled out a legal pad and a pen: so tell me about Steven – what kind of child was he? Your sisters chirped in and disagreed about what sports you played in high school. Laurie said you were never on the wrestling team. Lisa said you were very athletic. They both argued and cried thinking of you standing by them when you acted like an older brother. Your mother looked confused. He was my son, I should know. You were her son; a mother knows her children. Remember he took 22 credits his first year in college? The Rabbi asked, “How did he do?” “Terrible,” she said, and smiled. She remembered, it was exactly 22 credits, like a mother remembers.   I saw the first robin of spring, Steve, here in Dayton, the city you loved, outside the hotel room staring down on the leafless tree in the parking lot. Here, March, the month of your death. Your life, a mitzvah.

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