Dad Died

When I was little, Dad would get into the car and say, “Let’s get lost.” “OK,” I’d shout. “Let’s get lost.” At each intersection he’d ask, “Which way?” until we didn’t know where we were anymore. “Look,” I’d tell Mom when we banged into the breakfast room later. “Dad bought me a diary with a […]


The rabbi hands me the shovel, instructing me to invert its bowl before scooping the first mound of earth onto my father’s grave. This is the custom, he explains. To honor our loved one’s memory, we must demonstrate our reluctance to perform this obligatory task. With an upside-down shovel, the rabbi says, his free hand […]

Requiem for a Marriage

“To James, In Requiem,” the wedding present ditty reads. I open a yellowed envelope and find it tucked in a “Wedding Congratulations” card dated April 10, 1948, signed by twenty-seven people. My father’s coworkers at his engineering firm perhaps? None of the names seem familiar. A lavender orchid decorates the front of the card, with […]