I go to say my last Kaddish tonight. I couldn't handle going twice a day and I only managed to get to temple 4 days a week, but still, I am glad I went. I decided to go when my mom died. I know people like me often pay more religious people to say the prayer for them but paying someone to do my praying just did not seem right. My mom and her family were religious and while there is no obligation for women to say Kaddish, I felt it was my obligation as there was no one else available to do it. Besides, I never bought into the idea of women being less than men and wanted to do my part. My dad wasn't as religious but he said Kaddish weekly for my mom (his temple did not have daily services) and I wanted to honor him the way I honored her. I started for them but ended up doing it for me. While I am not sure what I believe, I know being in the presence of people who do believe and were committed to what they believed felt good. Every night I was welcomed and made to feel a part of the community. It felt good to be "10" (10 people are needed for a minyon, the number of people needed for prayer). Orthodox only count men. My temple counts everyone.
Two weeks ago an elderly temple member lost his wife. His daughter brings him every evening. They walk in together, her arm around him. She gently helps him remove his coat and open his book to the correct page. She helps him stand and sit and assists him up the stairs when the service is over. Seeing them warms my heart and reminds me of the days I did this with my dad.
My son is getting married Sunday. There is nothing my dad (and mom) wanted more than to see him walk down the aisle. My dad loved his wife to be. He won't be there but I know he would be happy and thrilled to see her wearing my mom's ring.
I've lit his candle and leave in a little while. (This will be posted later this evening.) I've gotten so much from the daily service and intend to stay a part of it, although not daily.
A year has gone by. I don't know if there is any after life and I am not even sure what I believe happens after death. But if there is something, I hope it is a world filled with happiness and my parents found each other and are getting ready to celebrate their upcoming anniversary together.