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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Baruch Dayan Emet -- Taube Korn z"l

I do not want to write this post.  Writing it makes it true.  And I do not want it to be true.

I did not want to write this, yet I could not write anything else, until I wrote it.  Which is why my blog has been silent for so many days.  I did not want to write the words that would make it real.

My dear friend, Taube, passed away last Tuesday night.

Her funeral was on Wednesday, at the same time as I was scheduled for my PET scan.  There was no way I could attend.  Maybe that was God's way of protecting me.

Though I met Taube because of our cancers, we discovered connections that go back to our childhood.  We grew up a block away from each other, our brothers were in school together, our mothers knew each other, we were in the same youth group, and we attended the same college/university.  Our common past, combined with our common present, formed a strong bond between us.

Taube began her journey into the cancer world about a year before I did, so she provided a tremendous amount of support and insight for me.  Whenever I felt lost, I called Taube, and she guided me with patience and wisdom.

I was privileged to be a guest in her home on several occasions and got to know her kids a bit as well.  To say that her family is impressive, is an understatement.  I cannot adequately describe the harmony I felt in her home.

Mostly, we talked on the phone.  We talked about cancer, parenting, religion, faith.  You name it, we talked about it. 

Even as her health deteriorated, I did not believe that her situation would not turn itself around.  She had a very rare form of bone cancer and had been in a not-so-good place before.  I felt sure the doctors could bring her around again.

Taube was poised, smart, private, perceptive, and giving.  She managed to keep working, despite her pain and limitations.  She inspired me to be strong and to live my life, despite the cancer. 

When I felt darkness closing in on me, Taube helped me through it. 

I did not realize how quickly her own darkness was closing in on her.

When Taube stopped calling me, I assumed she must be busy.

When she stopped returning my calls, I started to worry.  Still, I assumed she must be busy.

She was busy.  I had no idea....

By the time I realized how serious things were, Taube no longer felt strong enough for visitors.

I did not have a chance to say good bye.

Had I the chance, what would I have said?

A friend wisely advised me to write Taube a letter, which I did.  Taube's husband read the letter to her. 

In the letter, I let Taube know how much I valued her friendship and appreciated all her advice, support, and love.

I will miss her more than I can describe.

May her memory be a blessing.

יהי זיכרה ברוך



Please daven (or send happy, healing thoughts) for RivkA bat Teirtzel.

With love and optimism,
RivkA

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know what to say... Baruch Dayan Haemet is what you are supposed to say but I don't feel that way. I just can't say it.
I love you so much Rivka
ABH

MommaMindy said...

I am so very, very sorry for your loss. I am thankful you wrote the letter and that she had a chance to hear your heart of love. Be strong and courageous, my friend.

rickismom said...

I am sitting here crying.
The hole that we feel over a loss of someone we love is a reminder that we are oh so very human, and all our "coping" thoughts (mental gymnastics) can not change the reality that we are not in charge, and that loss HURTS.
HUGS.

michele said...

I'm so very sorry for the loss of your dear friend. In one short blog post you revealed so much about what Taube meant to you.

Rahel said...

Oh, RivkA... I am so sorry.

Bee said...

RivkA sending you gentle hugs and prayers as you endure the pain of losing you 'sister in arms'. You owe it to Taube to take care of yourself, you know that is what she would want.

The letter was a wonderful idea - you know that your friend knew how much she meant to you and if she could have written back then she would have re-iterated your words back to you, you helped her as much as she helped you.

xx

adena said...

so sorry...sending you strength...

Bereaved mom said...

RivkA, I'm so sorry for your loss.

She didn't by any chance happen to work in Alyn, did she? When my son z"l was there 9.5 years ago, there was someone by that name or something similar. As far as I know, she wasn't sick though. Can you just calm my nerves and confirm that it's a different person?

Sarah said...

I'm so sorry.

LeahGG said...

oh RivkA, I'm so sorry.
*hugs*

RivkA with a capital A said...

ABH -- God has His plans for us. We cannot know or understand why things happen they way they do. We have to trust God.

Mindy -- Thanks for suggesting I write the letter. It really comforted me to connect with her and be there to support her, even from afar.

Ricki's Mom -- I wish I could cry more. The tear in my heart is so big, I am afraid if I let myself cry, I will not be able to stop for a while.

Michele, Rahel, Bee, Adena, Sarah, & LeahG -- Thanks

Bereaved Mom -- I wish I could answer differently. You were lucky to be know her before her diagnosis.

Bereaved mom said...

RivkA, I am so shocked and sad right now. Taube was one of the nicest people there. She made it her mission to ensure that all the patients were transported to and from the hospital in the safest was possible. She devoted her life to raising awareness about travel safety. I remember spending a long time on the phone with her when we were about to leave the hospital, ensuring that all of our children were properly restrained in the ambulance. She had a smile and a kind word for everyone and made you feel like she really cared about you.

I'm sure Taube's in a very good place now but the world will definitely feel her absence. Her ma'asim tovim should be a meilitz yosher for her and her family and friends should have a nechama.

More hugs, RivkA. You were lucky to be Taube's friend.

Batya said...

HaMakom y'nachem...
אין מילים

faith/emuna said...

baruch dayan emet. she is a good friends sister in law, i prayed for her just a few hours ago, i hadnt heard the news until i read this. yehi zichra baruch. may hashem give her family and friends strength.

Anonymous said...

Dear RivkA,

I am grateful to have found your blog and to let you know that I, too, knew and loved Taube.

She emailed me a couple of years ago after reading a reflection I wrote for an oncology journal. We remained "pen pals" from that time on. We mostly "talked" via email since I live in the US, but I had the joy of talking with Taube a few times by phone and the honor of meeting her in Philadelphia last May when she was in the States for treatment.

She was just as you described her -- kind, gentle, insightful, honest, spiritual.

I will miss her deeply.

Janine

tesyaa said...

Baruch dayan emes - I remember Taube.

Beth Steinberg said...

It's all been said by others. I wish her family nechama in the year ahead and for you too. btw, my email so that we can connect is bysteinberg@gmail.com.

mikimi said...

may her name be a blessing and her family be comforted. this post made me cry for your loss and I imagine your own fears of what might come. You re here now-sieze the day and enjoy every moment you have.

Bernie said...

I am sorry to learn of your friends passing.......:-) Hugs

Baila said...

I did not know her, but she was a friend of a friend and I had heard about her passing and what a special person she was. I am so sorry.

RivkA with a capital A said...

Bereaved Mom -- thanks for sharing

Batya & Bernie -- thanks

Faith -- I am sorry that you found out this way. I hadn't considered that people might not know yet. I hope it was not too harsh.

I find it strange to suddenly stop praying for my friend and I find it frustrating that the there is nothing more that I can ask from God. The irony is that, just a few days ago, my daughter expressed that exact emotion when a young boy, for whom she had been praying, died of cancer. Now I understand what she was feeling....


Janine -- are you also a cancer patient? how did you find my blog? feel free to email me at: coffeeandchemo@gmail.com

RivkA with a capital A said...

Baila -- I did not realize just how many people I know who also knew Taube.

She worked with my neighbor. She worked with the mother of one of my swimming students. I know her brothers from youth group (though I did not realize that I knew them until I met them at the shiv'a).

The Jewish world is like a web -- we are all so interconnected.