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Letters from Dotnuva (cont.)





Translated by Sara Mages

Dotnuva, 30.9.36  

My dear uncle Morris!

I came home today for Sukkot from my workplace in Palanga, and the sudden terrible news about my beloved aunt Mary shocked me terribly. It came on me so sudden and I can't digest the terrible news.

I think about the time when both of you were here. My aunt, May she rest in peace, was always was full of joy and loved everyone. She had the majestic appearance of a good wise woman, pleasant and accessible to everyone. She examined every corner of her birthplace, and while she was doing it she brought up good memories from the past. Her parents' home, the brothers and sister that she grew up with, and her first steps in life. And so she is told it all, her entire life story, about her wanderings across the ocean and the laborious work in which she worked. But then came the better years, without many worries, when they became financially secured. She took great interest in life and was interested in everything and everyone. She helped her sisters and brothers, friends and acquaintances. She didn't live only for herself, but also for others. And yet, she's engraved in our souls. Her picture remains in our memory, and her glorious image is always hovering before our eyes like a sun shining in a cloudy grey sky. This alone is a great comfort for us after the terrible loss in the mortal world, a world with many people in it.

In a funeral we say the prayer “His righteousness will go before him,” righteousness walks ahead a person and lays a bouquet for him, but not a bouquet of flowers that wither with time, but a bouquet of good memories and good emotions that will never wilt. They live forever in our hearts and will be a fountain of peace and comfort. Physically, everything in the world is mortal and ephemeral, but spiritually some people remain immortal if they won it with their good deeds. Our dear beloved aunt, May she rest in peace, is among those whose spirit remains immortal. May it be our consolation after our family's great loss.

We haven't told the terrible news to our mother because it can be harmful to her health. She doesn't feel well lately, and right now I found her in poor health. For her it can be like a thunder in the heart on a beautiful bright day. In time she'll feel a little better. My dear uncle, I understand how all of you feel, how it affected you and also our beloved sister Freida. The heavens wanted her to be there. I understand how our Freida reacted, and feel her sorrow and loneliness at this moment. I assume that all of you will comfort her, and be for Freida what our aunt was till now. Freida has always been our aunt's, May she rest in peace, only concern and she always helped her. Now, my dear uncle, you're the only person who can take care of Freida. Unfortunately, our parents' financial situation is difficult right now and they can't do that. Be healthy and strong. We will find solace by respecting our aunt's, May she rest in peace, last deeds and requests.

Moshe Shapira


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