EMPTY CHAIRS - THERE ARE FAR TOO MANY

The Jewish New Year is quickly approaching.

There will be honey and Challah and prayers and rejoicing.

There will be families and loved ones and grandparents with grandchildren and aging parents with their own children.

There will be laughter and jokes while enjoying dinner and lunch and walking home together arm in arm, hand in hand with the people most important to you.

But there will also be fresh cuts that will turn into raw scars and never fully heal.

There will be lasting images of the end of a life well lived packed with pain and suffering that served as a great injustice and indignity to the person that they were - a person who cared for you with every molecule of their soul and left this world too soon and too brutally.

And you won't forget because you can't forget.

Just when you think you may be having an okay moment, your stomach turns and you feel as if you are going to be sick except you are sick already - sick, exhausted, beaten and torn and there is nothing you can do to dull the pain.

And when your family sits down to say farewell to the year that has passed and to welcome the year that is present, there will be an empty chair at the dining room table.





Some of you will choose to look away while others will stare in utter disbelief and question "Are they really gone? Will I never see them again?

And there will be a crude silence and an image will form for just a second - their face - their lips speaking your name - and then it will disappear just as you were starting to think it may last.

Every family has someone they miss and someone they wish they could bring back.

And then there would be no empty chairs at any tables - everyone would be together at least for that one meal, that one celebration, that one very sweet moment.

Empty chairs - there are far too many and they will never be filled.