And for those who will be bereaved in this year
What words can be offered, what comfort or solace?

Who these people might be there is none who can say

And although our tradition, with legendary promise

Tells that all human fate will be sealed on this day
With the fall of Ne’ilah, the truth is not so:
And life’s mystery, in which we all take our share
Can conclude in an instant – none of us can know
When that moment shall be and so how we shall face

The chance that even our short span will end
And that next year we will not return to this place
To recall our own loved ones; indeed we ourselves
Shall be the remembered whose lives are recalled
With the words of the Kaddish and silence and tears
In this service. Please do not be appalled
By the tone of these words, feel no shock or upset
It is right to explore what we’d feel, what we’d say
For eventually all of us will be remembered
With these words in this service at this time on this day.

Turn your thoughts for an instant, imagine and try 100

To explore the harsh thought, unpronounceable fear

That the plan of the universe, unknown to us
Says that you might be one who will die in this year.

It’s an awful conception, so hard to accept

That you might have just months or just days that are left

There is no way to know, life does not let us see
At what time or what place we shall meet with our death.

But if next year will bring us once more to this place

To this time to recall our loved ones who have died

How might we regard it, how might we perceive
If we look, so to speak, from the other side?

We will listen to psalms, pay attention to words
Whose attempt to console would be lost upon those

Overburdened with grief at their loss to the point
That their life loses meaning. Although no one knows
Or can share the true depth of the pain of another.
How might we, were we seeing our loved ones bereaved,

Respond to such grief? We would beg them recover
From pain, and return from a time where they grieved
Us to life. Not forget us, but cherish the thoughts
And the memories, some painful, that they would recall

At times such as these. But let us acknowledge
Such sadness is never the total of all
The emotions and feelings we’d witness if we
Could encounter this day all these souls’ silent grief.
There are those who remember ta this time their children

Or those taken early – for them the relief
And the promise of God’s consolation grants little
Respite from the pain they endure. And the fury
That burns; such resentment and hate for a God
Who allows such a thing to occur – we think surely
Such tragedy proves that God cannot exist
Or else He would intervene, move to prevent
What we mourn. But this is not God’s purpose
His love for His children has never been meant
To divert such occurrences, only provide
The strength and the courage to carry the pain
And the grief and survive and continue to live
And return to remember again and again
Those we’ve loved who are lost. And our anger with God

Which, fuelled by bereavement ever-burning we keep

Cannot help or avail us. For God, also moved
By our suffering, holds us when we come to weep
Gently in thoughts that embrace us, consoling,
Whenever our anguish impels us to call
Upon Him. Such times bring us pain, might have us believe

It were better if there were no memory at all
If we just were forgotten, if no sacred time
Were permitted or given for memories so dear
Of those with whom life had been so sweetly honoured

By their company and who are no longer here.

But had we no moments of silence and prayer
To recall precious memories, instants that made
Our lives so much richer and gave us true glimpses
Of love then our loved ones would rapidly fade
From our hearts and our mind’s eye would soon lose its view

Of the ones who meant most to our lives, so we must
Live the pain of those memories that reawakens
Each time we remember. But also have trust
That we can overcome it, although it would hurt
And tear pain inside us that seems never ending
But we shall emerge from the grieving we carry
And learn that each time we touch this we are mending
The damage bereavement has done to our souls.
And recalling our loved ones means that they live still
In our hearts and our minds and our deeds. So we gain
A brief glimpse of eternity, catch sight of God’s will.

So remember we must and we shall be remembered

At times when we gather so solemnly here
And let us be grateful the chance will be given
For us, should we die in the forthcoming year

Or whenever it be, for it surely must come
That we too shall be honoured in moments like these
Of silence, of prayer, of memory, of pain
And we know that such moments will comfort and ease

Those who loved us but feel perhaps guilt that their lives
Fill with everyday matters so trifling and trite
We would gently console them and tell them we know
That life has to continue and that it’s all right
To be burdened by things that seem petty and small
When they feel perhaps they should spend their time grieving

The one who has gone, who created a gap
In the new lives they started, not ever believing
Their emptiness with life’s requirements would fill.
But we never would doubt them. Their love is sincere
Even though life’s demands might make seem they’ll forget

All those of us who’ll pass away in this year.

So arriving once more at that annual encounter
We stand among friends and share memories here

As we think of our loved ones, we offer our thanks

That we stand in this place to welcome the new year

And give gratitude also for times we have spent

Living life to the full. And as we remember
The ones whose existence we hold in our hearts
Full of memories gentle and loving and tender
We feel perhaps guilt that the pain we once knew

And which almost engulfed us now gives us free reign

To enjoy life. But let us not punish ourselves

It is right that we move and start living again
And the ones from whose absence we strive to recover

Would wish nothing less for us, just as we too
Were we among those who will die in this year
Would expect those who love us to live life anew.

So let us now turn to the words and the thoughts

And the songs and the silence to carry is through

The impending encounter with memories and pain

And pray that this time will enable us to

Think of those we have loved and whose memory still

Pounds alive in our blood, in the beat of our heart
And the thoughts and the deeds of those we held dear

Remain with us although we are now far apart.

Think of those we love still, know that all that was done

In life by the living shall never be lost
And though it brings pain to remember the grief
We have to acknowledge that this is the cost

To be paid for the times and the love we have shared

With those who have left us, whose memory we bear

And the duty is ours to recall and remember
To carry their names in our hearts and to care

For all that they cherished and strive to achieve
What they strove to achieve and to do so with faith
In the ones who will follow us, knowing they too
Will take over from us when our turn comes to face
Our mortality. Let our efforts be bold
And reflect all the promises uttered today
Let us draw from the past and continue the work
Of our loved ones who trust us with everything they

Were not able to finish. We also might fail
To achieve what we want in our lives. But we must
For the sake of our loved ones and our sake as well

Continue to strive. Therefore let us place trust
In our God who provides us with memories and hearts

To recall our beloved when we gather here,
Let us live to the full and gain strength to give strength to

All of those who will be bereaved in this year.