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BARRY METZGER

BARRY METZGER

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August 30, 2015
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August 30, 2015
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April 01, 2013
Dear Rebecca,
Ryan notified me about your dad. I am so very sorry for you and Noah and your family. I immediately went to your facebook page and saw the wonderful photo of the two of you together. That photo perfectly captures my memories of Barry, jovial and enjoying the energy of those around him, and a playful side bubbling below the surface. I always enjoyed not only talking to him, but being around him, he was a good presence and loving father and grandfather. He was cut from the same cloth as my dad, who just died over 8 month ago. I am still in mourning and saying kaddish every shabbat. I know you must be feeling something like I felt when my father died ... utter devastation, loss, emotional depletion, a broken heart. This doesn't last, and changes over time. But the first 30 days were a landscape of emotional pain for me. There were a few things that helped me through it. Being with family and friends. Are you staying with your mom during shiva? I lived in the house of mourning for the week and rarely left. It felt safe, and strangely like how I felt during the first week after Frieda's birth, like the whole world had contracted into my house, and time moved incredibly slowly. I was struck how similar in some ways birth and death are, at least in those earliest of days. The shifting of worlds as someone moves in or out of it. The immensity and intensity is so different that the rest of our daily lives. That first week the presence of my father was so strong, he always seemed to be just around the corner. He was there but not there. This was hard to feel at the time, but now I almost miss it, and I crave to find ways to feel close to him again, even if only in my dreams. So feel him now as much as you can.

The Jewish rituals do help and make sense, and you are so thoughtful I am sure you'll find the right practices for yourself. I started saying kaddish a few days a week and have settled into once a week since the shloshim. Right now, its the only public space where I am still in mourning, and people know that I have recently lost a parent, and that space is comforting since the rest of the world will not really understand what you are going through and after a few weeks won't even care too much. I was surprised how horrible it felt to lose a parent. Some of my close friends had lost parents, and I realized that I really had no idea what they went through until I "joined the club" myself.
So the other thing that helped me along the way has been taking comfort from those who have been gone down this road before. For me, the most comforting words came from people - some close friends, othertimes near starngers - who lost parents and shared their experiences with me. Helped the absurdity of my father being dead seem less absurd.

Please know that my, and Risa's, thoughts are with you and that we will try to help anyway we can.

Hugs,
Dan
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