Today is Nancy Ring’s Yahrtzeit. She died at home after a long struggle with ovarian cancer.
Knowing that her death was coming, last spring I promised myself that when the day finally came that she was out of pain, I would play Kaddish for her. I thought about playing Kaddish for her for a year and a day, but I hadn’t made a decision about that. I still hadn’t played Kaddish five months later when I read Mira’s essay about Kaddish and then wrote my own in response, and I realized I had become emotionally backed up. That realization played a big part in my proposing this project to Mira.
Recording this Kaddish today on Nanc’s Yahrtzeit was difficult. This project has gone a long way toward helping both me and Mira heal from our grief, as we’ve each discussed elsewhere, and we hear from others about how it has helped them also. But I have not been through an entire year and a day of this ritual yet for Nanc, and although this is her Yahrtzeit, it’s not the Yahrtzeit of my actively grieving. I did not feel ready to let go of my grief.
Perhaps I will be ready when this project matures and Mira and I, along with those who have joined us here, have completed a full year and a day of mourning.
Perhaps we never do feel ready.