In an emotional tribute to Israel’s victims of terror in 2014, fond memories of loved ones were shared.
The courtyard was silent. Children and young adults sat together on the cushions on the floor surrounded by a circle of parents and friends.
It was an environment of calm and serenity – a safe environment where everyone could mourn privately embraced in warm support and understanding.
Tali Ben Yishai, Ruti Fogel’s z”l mother spoke, from deep within her heart. Her grandchildren, Tamar and Roi sat together in the front row with their OneFamily Counselors and her grandson Yishai wandered in circles around the podium, alternating between sitting with his siblings and sitting with his grandparents.
For me, remembering is living. There are many aspects to living. Living is being strong, continuing despite… Living is crying, bitterly crying, and knowing that it’s perfectly normal; living is appearing to be strong, and hearing people say “I think Tali is doing much better today”; living is being weak, and hearing “How will she ever manage to carry on?”; living is knowing that all of these are part of my life.
For me, remembering is being one with the truth, with reality; every day, every hour; it’s accepting the reality that I am not the same person I used to be, there is the Tali from before and there is the Tali after.
Marom Manzur, a quieter and more reserved teenager spoke, sharing a similar personal experience as Tali in describing the of the loss of his older brother Aviad z”l who was killed at the age of 16 years old while on his way home from a trip with his friends.
He recalled in a quiet voice how the terrorists shot at Aviad and his friends, Aviad called his father, begging in him to come and save him. Aviad succumbed to his wounds two days later.
Marom was in 4th grade, the loss of his big brother changed him as a person. “I am afraid of being exposed, and although I do not know exactly what will happen if I am exposed, I am still afraid. Running to battle without armor takes a lot of courage and I feel that life is a battle. What happened to me caused me to change my person. To be a different Marom.”
Twelve year old Hadas Ames stood to speak, her older brother wrapped his arm around her, and slowly stroked her back. Words of loss, bereavement, capturing memories poured from her lips – thoughts beyond her years grown out of the deep anguish of losing both her parents in her childhood.
I remember something dimly and then I am unable to describe it. My memories like this are what I have left, the last thing that I have left of them. A memory can be good—making me happy that I had such a life. But it can be tough, a bit depressing to go back in time. I am also happy that I have memories that I know who they were and what they did for us.
I do not know what I would if I did not have memories. The memories make me miss, I would rather miss.
For an hour and a half we listened to stories and memories, listened to songs and watched movies. And when the ceremony completed and friends returned home, the children stayed for hours singing into the night.
The OneFamily Fund is the leading national organization rebuilding, rehabilitating, and reintegrating the lives of Israel’s victims of terror and their families (www.onefamilytogether.org). Since our founding in 2001, more than 17,000 people have been maimed and wounded in terror activity and 1429 men, women, and children have been murdered in acts of terror and war.
By: OneFamily Fund
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