Posts Tagged ‘death of a child’

 

Columbine, Again and Again

Posted on: February 15th, 2023 by Alden No Comments

In memorium for those who lost their lives at Michigan State University, and to all who were wounded physically or emotionally, I’ve added the school to “A Dream of Columbine: Psalm of Protest 13.” Here is a three-prayer liturgy also including “After Uvalde: The Court of the Innocent” and “After a Deadly Rampage.”

A Dream of Columbine: Psalm of Protest 13
A dream of Columbine High School,
When the U.S. was beset by guns.
Red with blood,
A dream of Thurston High, Red Lake High, Virginia Tech, and Michigan State University,
Wet with tears,
A nightmare of Sandy Hook and Robb Elementary.
A lament of guns and death,
At NIU, Marshall County High, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, Santa Fe High and Saugus High.
Crying out
With so many others,
Too many dead,
So many wounded and scarred.
Crying out,
O Columbine!
How long? How long? How long?

After Uvalde: The Court of the Innocent
The court of the innocent
At the gates of heaven
Is twenty-one souls larger today.
Two adults and nineteen children shot dead.
They bring their blood as evidence against us,
As evidence of our failure to protect them
And the impotence of our rage.

The court of the innocent
At the gates of heaven
Have stopped listening to our speeches.
They no longer say ‘amen’ to our prayers.
They have turned their backs to us,
As we have turned our backs to them.

The court of the innocent
At the gates of heaven
Minister to the souls of the newly murdered,
They minister to those cut down
By guns and violence,
By politics and inaction,
Tending to these recent companions in death,
Consoling their lifeless hearts.

After a Deadly Rampage
Author of life
Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under Your tabernacle of peace
To the victims of the massacre
At Michigan State University,
Whose lives were cut off by violence,
A rampage of aggression beyond understanding.
Their hopes were severed.
Their dreams were lost to brutality.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.
May they rest in peace.

G-d of justice and mercy,
Remember, too, the survivors of this attack,
Witnesses of shock, horror and dismay.
Ease their suffering and release their trauma
So that they recover lives of joy and wonder.
Grant them Your shelter and solace,
Blessing and renewal.
Grant them endurance to survive,
Strength to rebuild,
Faith to mourn,
And courage to heal.

Remember the families and friends
Of the dead and the wounded.
With comfort and consolation.
Grant them Your protection,
Your wholeness and healing.
May they find hope and renewal.

Heavenly Guide,
Source of love and shelter,
Put an end to anger, hatred and fear
And lead us to a time when
No one will suffer at the hand of another,
Speedily, in our day.

© 2012, 2022, and 2023 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

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Postscript: See also “Against Gun Violence.”

Please check out These Words: Poetic Midrash on the Language of Torah and my other CCAR Press volumes: This Grateful Heart, This Joyous Soul, and This Precious Life, which can also be purchased as the Grateful/Joyous/Precious trilogy. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter. For a taste of my teaching, see my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer.”

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Photo Source: Bridge Michigan

A Dream of Columbine: Psalm of Protest 13

Posted on: February 2nd, 2019 by Alden No Comments

The massacre at Columbine High school took place more than 20 years ago. And still, we have school shooting after school shooting. This Psalm of Protest, listing school shootings, imagines that those schools stand as witness against all gun violence, as witness against all mass murder. See also, “Against Gun Violence” and “In Memorium: Sandy Hook.”

Addendum: Written in 2019, this has been updated on May 25, 2022, to include Robb Elementary School, Uvalde, Texas.

A Dream of Columbine: Psalm of Protest 13
A dream of Columbine High School,
When the U.S. was beset by guns.
Red with blood,
A dream of Thurston High, Red Lake High and Virginia Tech.
Wet with tears,
A nightmare of Sandy Hook and Robb Elementary.
A lament of guns and death,
At NIU, Marshall County High, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, Santa Fe High and Saugus High.
Crying out
With so many others,
Too many dead,
So many wounded and scarred.
Crying out,
O Columbine!
How long? How long? How long?

© 2022 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com.

New here? Subscribe here to get my newest prayers by email.
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Postscript: See also: “Psalms of Protest 1, and 3,” Psalms of Protest 4, 5 and 6,” “Psalms of Protest 7-10,” “#MeToo, No More: Psalm of Protest 11” and “Psalm of Protest 12.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: NBC12

Memorial for a Child, Even in Adar

Posted on: February 26th, 2017 by Alden No Comments

This is a memorial prayer for grieving parents. On this day nine years ago, Rosh Chodesh Adar, the month in which joy is said to enter, eight Yeshiva students were murdered in a terrorist attack: Doron Maharate, Avraham David Moses, Yonatan Eldar, Yonadav Hirshfeld, Neria Cohen, Yochai Lifshitz, Ro’ee Roth, Segev Peniel Avichail. Today, I’m reposting this prayer in their memories. May their souls be linked in the chain of life. May all who’ve lost a child find comfort, strength and renewal. This prayer appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Memorial Prayer for a Child
My child,
Dear _________________ [first name],
You are love in my heart
And tears in my eyes.
You are longing in my chest,
A well of memories,
Joyous and crushing,
Holy and touched by sorrow.
My yearning for you will never cease.

G-d of all Being,
Grant my/our son/daughter _______________ [full name]
A perfect rest under Your tabernacle of peace.
Guide his/her soul back to Your holy realm,
For he/she left this world
Too young,
Too soon,
With dreams unanswered
And hopes unfulfilled.

Grant our family strength as we move forward,
A tribute to Your healing
In memory of our dear son/daughter.
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
An eternal blessing in our midst.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers For a New Day

Postscript: This prayer was first posted on August 29, 2013. See also: “Meditation on the Burial of a Young Child,” “For Bereaved Children,” “After Shiva” and “For the Bereaved.”

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: TerredIsrael

Birthday, No More

Posted on: August 20th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

800px-Buchach_Jewish_Graveyard_(40)Here’s a prayer to be said on the birthday of a deceased loved one. My sense of sorrow and loss return on the birth dates of my dad Jack z”l and my wife Ami z”l. Word choices are separated with a slash (“/”). Optional lines appear in [brackets]. This appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press. I also use this prayer on Father’s Day and, thinking of my children, on Mother’s Day.

Birthday, No More
This empty space in time,
In my heart,
Is yours dear ___________ [relationship].
It is the space for yearning,
The space of memory,
The day your light came into the world.
A day of sorrow for what was lost,
Birthdays that will never be.

This day touches
The depths of my grief and loss.
This day touches
A wound and makes it new.

G-d of generations,
Be with me [and my/our family]
As we remember what was
And what might have been.

I/We miss you.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day

Postscript: I’m posting this in memory of my father, born August 20, 1925. On that same date, 63 years later, he received his cancer diagnosis and died 10 days later, August 30, 1988, corresponding to 17 Elul 5748.  Some of my other prayers about death include: “Near the End: A Meditation,” “On Removing a Child’s Life Support,” “Meditation on the Burial of a Young Child,” “On the Journey to My Child’s Passing,” “After Shiva” and “Shall I Cry.” Here’s a list of memorial and yizkor prayers.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

Angel of Rest

Posted on: March 8th, 2015 by Alden No Comments

Dresden_Niederpoyritz_Elbe_Sunset_2012_0528_cHere’s a short meditation on death, attempting to think differently about the classic image of the Angel of Death.

Angel of Rest
Then came
The Angel of Death
With gentle words
And sacred tidings.
Quiet and rest.
Gentleness and peace.
Extending a hand and a smile.
A guide.
A companion.

In the end,
We are not alone
As we rise
Into the rhythm of light,
The expanse of glory,
The illumination of holiness,
To become one with the infinite,
To become the pulse
Of the divine.

© 2015 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: Some of my other prayers about death include: “Near the End: A Meditation,” “On Removing a Child’s Life Support,” “Meditation on the Burial of a Young Child,” “On the Journey to My Child’s Passing,” “After Shiva” and “Shall I Cry.” Here’s a list of memorial and yizkor prayers.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

Memorial Prayer for a Child

Posted on: August 29th, 2013 by tobendlight No Comments

grieving-parents-004For those who struggle with this unimaginable loss, a memorial prayer for grieving parents. May you find comfort, strength and renewal. Here’s a related “Meditation on the Burial of a Young Child” and one you can say on behalf of your surviving children called “For Bereaved Children.” This prayer appears my book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

Memorial Prayer for a Child
My child,
Dear _________________ [first name],
You are love in my heart
And tears in my eyes.
You are longing in my chest,
A well of memories,
Joyous and crushing,
Holy and touched by sorrow.
My yearning for you will never cease.

G-d of all Being,
Grant my/our son/daughter _______________ [full name]
A perfect rest under Your tabernacle of peace.
Guide his/her soul back to Your holy realm,
For he/she left this world
According to Your will,
Too soon for me,
Too soon for me.

Grant our family strength as we move forward,
A tribute to Your healing
In memory of our dear daughter/son.
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
An eternal blessing in our midst.

© 2013 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: See also: “Meditation on the Burial of a Young Child,” “For Bereaved Children,” “After Shiva” and “For the Bereaved.”

For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. Connect with To Bend Light on Facebook and on Twitter.  If you use this prayer, please click take a moment to post a link to your Facebook page, your blog or mention it in a tweet.

Photo Source: Micah Wessman Foundation

Meditation on the Burial of a Young Child

Posted on: December 16th, 2012 by tobendlight No Comments

Flower GraveThis prayer is a response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It can be used as a private meditation or as part of a funeral service. Gender selections are identified with a slash (“his/her”), there are two places to insert the name of the child and an optional section, identified with [brackets], for adding memories and personal reflections. Here’s a prayer “For the Children of Newtown.” May the memories of the righteous be a blessing.

Meditation on the Burial of a Young Child
My dear __________ [name of the child],
My son/daughter/child,
Your hands were so small,
Your skin, so smooth,
Your smile, as bright as sunlight.
We had so little time,
And so much more to do, to discover, to share.

Oh grief,
Oh loneliness and sorrow,
The coffin that holds you is so small,
The wood, so smooth,
This moment, dark with despair.
And still, your laughter echoes in my heart
And your face shines in my eyes.

[If desired, speak silently or aloud memories and moments
To honor the life of your child and the difficult days ahead.]

G-d of compassion,
Grant our family the wisdom to be gentle with each other
In these hours of grievous loss.
Lead us on the path to hope and renewal
So that we may become a well
Of comfort and support for each other.

G-d of All,
Grant a perfect rest among the souls of the righteous
To ______________________ [name of the child],
My son/daughter/child who has gone to his/her eternal rest.
May his/her memory be sanctified with love and
May his/her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Postscript: This will appears in Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing. Here’s a link to a memorial prayer to be said for an individual killed “At the Hand of Violence” and a prayer “For Bereaved Children,” which can be said on behalf of the brothers and sisters of the victims.

Please consider making a contribution to support this site and my writing. For usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” For notices of new prayers, please subscribe. You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo credit: Laume’s Studio

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