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For Ben, a bright soul
by Andrew Meit, uncle.
How can I seek comfort
for a potentiality lost?
Or is it?
I cannot pray for deliverance
from their choice for peace,
only to be given memories
filled with their miracles.
For what could be, now not
is burned into my soul, my time.
A child’s gift giftless;
A child grown parentless.
Long bereaved we living must.
Memories past are prayers cherished.
Only constant constructed love daily
lives out the powerful promise
to wrestle evil and wield goodness;
to prevent pain and helpless hope —
Let faith shine through crushing clouds;
let not tragedy engulf tenderness growing.
There is no victim,
There is no victimizer;
There is only the sustaining potential
to keep trust in the potential to love.
This eulogy by Andrew Meit was read at Temple Beit Ami in Rockville, Maryland at the funeral of Benjamin Meit. Andrew writes, “Ben would have turned 19 next week. He died from complications from depression and mental illness.” Donations in Ben’s memory may be made here.
The poem is loosely based upon words shared by Rabbi David Wolpe for an ecumenical collection of prayers and statements of religious leaders a decade after the terrorism on September 11, 2001, collected by the Huffington Post and published 9 September 2011.
A Jewish Prayer
Dear God, how do we pray for what was lost? We cannot pray for deliverance or a miracle, for the tragedy has already burned itself into our souls. Children have grown fatherless. Families are long since bereaved. We know there is no prayer to change the past. So we pray to live with memory, with constant love, with the promise both to combat evil and to cherish goodness. Do not let our pain cloud our hopes or crush our hearts. Help us grow through this tragedy, keep faith with its victims, and sustain our trust in You.
If you or anyone you know is in need of help, please call 911, or 1-800 273 8255, the national suicide prevention hotline.
“Loss of what could be; but is – a prayer-poem in eulogy after a suicide, by Andrew Meit” is shared by the living contributor(s) with a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International copyleft license.
Works of related interest:
קדיש יתום | Mourner’s Ḳaddish for a Minyan of Ten People (including Jews and non-Jews), by Rabbi David Seidenberg (neohasid.org)
הקול קטן של אליהו הנביא | A reflection on despair and suicide awareness to be read upon opening the door for Elijah at the Passover seder