Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Missed Levaya-Baruch Dayan Emes Adira Boltshauser

I remember when I first heard the news.

I was sitting at my desk, back in Baltimore, it was the first Sunday evening of the Fall 2007 semester, when I received a phone call from my friend Yehuda telling me that he was engaged to Adira Miller of Lakewood.

I was thrilled, my best friend was getting engaged! He was the first of a long line of friends who would be getting engaged (and married), but that was really the realization for me that we was entering adulthood. Another stage in life that showed our independence, an independence that requires and intimate interdependence.

It's a good thing, when people find their other half.

A half that was ripped away from us today.

I received the email yesterday morning telling us of Adira's condition. They would have been married for 2 years next month, and what should have been a time of joy, was clouded with news of both mother and baby in the Intensive Care Unit.

We didn't know how to respond, this was a new experience for both me and my wife Elisheva, we didnt' know if calling Yehuda would do more good then bad so we started davening for both Adira and her and Yehuda's baby girl.

We would occasionally get email's updating us of Adira and baby's condition.

B"H the baby seemed to be getting stronger and was starting to function on it's own. Even Adira it seemed was holding on as the doctors tried to stabilize the hemorrhage in the back of her brain.

We didn't expect what happened next...

The first time my wife met Adira was actually at a wedding of a friend of ours. The friend's wedding happened to take place one week before mine and Elisheva's wedding.

According to a Jewish custom the chassan and kallah don't see each other for the week before the wedding, so we had said goodbye at the hall's entrance, I entered the men's door and she the women's.

Yehuda is a photographer and was photographing the wedding. The chassan getting married happened to be a good friend of ours from high school.

Elisheva didn't know anyone, and when I saw Adira standing next to Yehuda helping him with the lighting, I asked her if she would go to the woman's side, and introduce her to Elisheva to help her feel more comfortable.

Elisheva and I were sitting down this evening looking at our wedding album, and picture's that I'd seen dozens of times before all of the sudden had a different meaning.

Here was my wedding, which took place only a few short months ago, my entrance into the world of matrimony which my friend Yehuda and his wife attended with great joy.

Joy on the faces of Yehuda (very visible in the pictures due to his extremely tall physique) and the smooth, glowing face of Adira as she watched my new wife dancing with her friends and new family.

I sat down at the computer after taking a short nap this afternoon and just stared at the screen.

It just couldn't be.

The Yeshiva World News website was informing us if the passing of photographer Yehuda Boltshauser's wife Adira.

I was shocked.

My wife burst into tears after I told her, as did my mom when I made a very somber call to America.

This couldn't be real! This is the type of things that happen to other people! Not people you know! Not friends of yours!

We received a phone call from non other then the person who's wedding my wife met Adira at, making arrangements to go to the funeral.

I was still in shock and found myself sitting in a sherut headed to Be'er Yaakov outside of Rishon Letzion where the levaya was to take place.

There wasn't much talking during the ride, all of us, who had only a few short week's ago hung out in our living room following a Shabbos meal smiling, laughing, the same people with a very different feeling and all with their own thoughts.

Unfortunately we arrived too late, the levaya had finished a good hour before we were able to get there.

Everyone was gone, and we were the only one's in this very dark, cold parking lot at the beit hakevarim, not sure what we should do.

Just a short walk away in the dark was our friend, a friend that we will never see again.

I'm glad it was dark so no one saw my tears.