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A Burial

Photo by Niilo Isotalo on Unsplash

 It was during the last summer of the 20th century that I found myself standing, one of two people, next to an open grave, in a cemetery not far from Tel Aviv.After an illness which had wasted her away, a friend had died and was to be buried there.

For many years Helen was one of the few customers at my bookshop in Ibn Gvirol, and also one of the most intelligent of the participants of the various evening groups I had created to make up for lack of business.

After many years she became ill.

I visited Helen in hospital. In a weak voice she spoke of "my Maxie", and that at last she would be seeing him.

Now we were waiting at her graveside. It was a hot day and the sky above us was an intense blue, with not a cloud to be seen.

Two men, carrying a stretcher with the body on it, arrived at the grave.

They lowered the body into the grave, and as they did so we heard a tremendous crash above our heads - like a bolt of lightning. But all we saw was the vastness of the blue above us.

As we walked out of the graveyard the young woman who had been at the burial said "Quite a send-off she had there."

Presumably I agreed with her.

But why do I remember this now?



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Sunday, 21 July 2024

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