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I Kept Her Alive

Several weeks ago, I officiated at Jacqueline’s funeral. She was 83 and in hospice at the time of her passing. Her son, Daniel, is the father of two children. His newborn daughter, Olivia, was born three days before his mother died.

I write this interpretive poem in memory of Jacqueline and in honor of Olivia. This is the family story told to me by the bereaved son. (I have changed their names for privacy.)

I kept her alive so she could hold my newborn

And I could rest in peace

Knowing that they had bonded briefly

But beautifully

From womb to casket.


I look at their picture with a joyful sorrow.

While I mourn the loss of my mother.

My tears flow for my tiny tot

Knowing that her future would survive

Without my mother being in it.

Forever stitched into my daughter’s baby blanket

Is the heart of my mother

And their eternal love.

Aleha hashalom”

May peace be reverently placed upon her soul

And grant our family a restful sleep, one night at a time


With gratitude.


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