My Yom Kippur Yizkor Sermonette 2018

Some would say, using the phrase, that it’s been 28 years since I lost my father.  I cannot seem to connect to that phrase.  “I have lost my father”.  I never lost my father.  I didn’t misplace him.  I cannot go to the lost and found to see if someone has turned him in for me to reclaim.  No.  He has never left my possession.  No.  He is always here with me in my memory.  And he continues to be as real to me now when he exists in spirit only as when he was with me in bodily form.

This is true for all of us who have a loved one who has changed from a bodily form to a form that is purely spirit.  Our loved ones continue to exist in our memories.  They continue in our memories of happy and joyful times. They live on in memories of birthdays, weddings, vacations, holiday observances.  They live on in the memory of times simply spent together, quiet and uncomplicated.  They also live on in memories of the hard times.  Times when bitter angry words were spoken, when grief filled tears flowed, when beset by difficulty.  For no life is pure unalloyed joy and our loved ones live on in both our happiest memories and our saddest.

Memory also persists unconsciously.  In the turn of a phrase we’ve picked up along the way.  In the habit we adopted while they still lived.  In the foods we’ve grown to love.  In the jokes we’ve told a thousand times and still chuckle at more from the memory of the one who used to tell it than from its own inherent humor.

Our loved ones are never lost, even though they are not here in body.  Rather, they remain with us in our remembrances just as we too shall persist in the memory of those who follow us.  None of us shall ever be lost so long as we are remembered.