Yesterday was Nancy Ring’s Yahrtzeit. I had intended to record a Kaddish incorporating Mira’s reading of one of Nanc’s poems, but technical difficulties got in the way of that collaboration—the files didn’t make it across Dropbox for some reason. So, I recorded Kogan’s “Kaddish” for horn, and then I decided also to read Mira’s edition of the text on another track also, and that’s what I posted on Sunday. After making the recording I fell completely apart—it’s Nanc’s Yahrtzeit, but I have only been actively grieving through this project since November, and I’m just not there yet.
Later in the evening, Mira did manage to get her audio over to me. She had recorded a poem Nanc wrote for me followed by the text of Kaddish. When I listened to it, I fell apart all over again, but this time was different. Making the Kaddish for Nanc is what I felt I was doing for Nanc, in her honor. Listening to Mira’s Kaddish is when I felt my kaddish partner—a representative of our whole virtual minyan—taking care of me.
Which is how this whole bereavement ritual is supposed to work, right? You schlepp off to shul every day to say Kaddish with nine other adults, and getting together in that way each day with at least nine other members of your community becomes at least as important as the words of the prayer that you recite together.
For the first time since we started this project, I felt for myself the gratitude (in this case to Mira) that others have told us about when we’ve recorded Kaddishim for their lost loved ones.