Kiss of death: a prayer upon the death of a parent by Andrew Meit


‏”על פי ה'” – מלמד שמת בנשיקה‏
At the word of (by the mouth of) Hashem — We learn that he [Aharon] died with a kiss.
—Rashi on Numbers 33:38

נשיקה דמיא כמשחל בניתא מחלבא
Neshika — the “kiss” is comparable to removing a hair from milk.
—Talmud Bavli, Tractate Brakhot 8a
Hashem, please do kiss warmly my mother/father hello
as we struggle to kiss her/him good-bye.

Hashem, please favor me, to inhale smoothly her/him into your heart
as we exhale our rough grief from our entangled hearts.

Hashem, please with grace, lift quickly and wholly her/him into your embrace
as we endure slowly her/him leaving this world’s firm grip.

Hashem, please grant me for you to slide quickly her/his body from her/his meritorious soul,
a soul providing sustaining milk/support to many for many years in many ways.

Hashem, please with compassion place her/his soul among her/his loved ones and friends
as we place her/his body among beloved flowers and fertile earth.

Hashem please, always show and remind me the many, blessed memories of her/him
till the day I too die,

Amen


By Andrew Meit, written upon the death of his mother, Sonie Meit, the 28th of Sivan 5771 — כ״ח בְּסִיוָן תשע״א.

6 comments to Kiss of death: a prayer upon the death of a parent by Andrew Meit

  • Avatar Natalie L. Gorvine

    Thank you for sharing this moving prayer. I think that if something like this had been available to me at the time of my own mother’s difficult death more than 21 and 1/2 years ago, the transition may well have been a little easier for all of us. I know that there will be others in the future who will find support and comfort in reading your lines that express what they themselves are unable to articulate. @Andrew – May your mother’s memory be for blessing always, and may you be comforted among all the mourners of Zion, Jerusalem, and all humanity.

    P.S. One small technical matter: It seems to me that the fifth word of the third verse was intended to be lift, not left.

  • Andrew Meit Andrew Meit

    Thank you for posting my prayer. @Natalie, thank you for your kind words.
    Could you please add, June 30th 2011 as the death date since not everyone knows Jewish calendar conversion, thanks.

  • Avatar The Hierophant

    Thank you so much for pointing out the typo, Natalie. I have fixed it.

  • Avatar Nadine C

    Thank you for sharing this prayer…My father (of blessed memory) died April 24…We are finishing Shiva tomorrow, and I come back to Vancouver tomorrow night. I was looking on the web and saw this beautiful prayer. Thank you

  • Andrew Meit Andrew Meit

    A revised version suitable for printing and better line breaks. copyright remains the same as the original version:

    Prayer for death of a parent.
    Andrew s. Meit, for his mother 2011.

    G-d, please, to kiss warmly my parent hello as we struggle to kiss them good-bye.

    G-d, please favor me, to inhale smoothly my parent into your heart as we exhale our grieve from our entangled hearts.

    G-d, please with grace, to lift quickly and wholly my parent into your embrace as we endure slowly their leaving this world’s gripe.

    G-d, please grant me, to slide quickly my parent’s body from their merited soul, a soul providing sustaining support to many for many years in many ways.

    G-d, please with compassion, to place my parent’s soul among their loved ones and friends as we place their body among beloved flowers and fertile earth.

    G-d, please, to show and remind me the many, blessed memories of my parent till the day I too die,
    Amen.

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