For people who know me, they know I do not express a lot of emotion. When I do, it is often comes out easier when I type it on a blog than speak it.

The vast majority of my immediate family (brothers, sister, parents) were in Israel for my Nephews Bar Mitzvah – a nephew I am incredibly close with and see a few times a week. My flight to Israel was cancelled due to the Hurricane so my family didn’t end up going – which was upsetting. But the rest of my family was there.

My mom and dad made it out the week before to spend time with my brother who lives in Israel (the one who reminds me of Matt Cutts), my brother here who I work with took his oldest daughter and my sister’s family, the one celebrating the Bar Mitzvah all went. They arrived Monday morning.

Throughout the days I was in touch with them via phone and email. I prepped their homes for the hurricane, I checked their homes Tuesday morning after the hurricanes as well. Then we went home to eat in our powerless home Tuesday night.

Then I got the dreaded voicemail (cell service was horrible because of the black out) to call back my sister-in-law in Israel, there as a serious family emergency. I called immediately when I got the voicemail and I was told, my mom is very not well, not breathing, not responding, that is wasn’t good. I spent about an hour on the phone with the family as paramedics worked but got no response. She died just less than two days before her 3rd grandchild’s Bar Mitzvah.

No one expected it, she was healthy, she didn’t have any issues that would prevent her from traveling. It seems she had a massive heart attack.

She was 66 and all her children (including son-in-law and daughter-in-laws) and grandchildren were incredibly close to her. My mom just retired officially a few months earlier and she was going to spend her free time with my dad who retired earlier. It was simply not expected.

What Didn’t I Understand

I probably go to visit a mourner one average every other month. People die, they need to be consoled, you go and pay your respects. But I didn’t get it, I didn’t understand it. I never lost anyone myself.

There is this void, there is this pain, it is hard to explain. Of course, there are memories and good thoughts but she is not there. I can’t call her to tell her about this or that.

But when people came to my home to console me during the black out, when they didn’t have heat or lights or even gas to get home….

The ones that have felt a loss before – you can tell it in their face.

They lower their heads, they breath out and lose their breath when they talk to you, they feel your pain through their own loss. It is like they relive the time they lost their loved one in front of you and it is all too clear.

When I visited people in those situations, I did not get it. I did not feel it.

But now I do and I will forever.

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Website Comments

  1. Steve Haman
    Reply

    Can’t tell you how moving this was to me. So very sorry for the pain you are suffering at the loss of your mother. Most sincere thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  2. Melissa Fach
    Reply

    Oh Barry, I am so, so sorry. There is nothing worse than this. You need to seriously take care of yourself and keep in mind that your mind is going to be up and down for the next few months. Sometimes you just have to stop and breathe. I am praying for you and your family.

  3. Akvile Harlow
    Reply

    Barry, I am so very to hear of your loss. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  4. Seรฑor Muรฑoz
    Reply

    I lost my father (he was 61) in february. Got the same feeling: “why?” Only send you big hugs from Spain and all my condoleances

  5. Lisa Barone
    Reply

    I am so sorry, Barry. My thoughts are with you and your family. If there is anything that some of us can do to at least lighten your load at work, we’re here to jump in. Take care of yourself and your family.

  6. Ben Pfeiffer
    Reply

    Praying for you and your family. This is so tough to go through especially when its sudden like this. Lost my brother this way, it was very hard.

  7. Moses
    Reply

    ื”ืžืงื•ื ื™ื ื—ื ืื•ืชืš ื‘ืชื•ืš ืฉืืจ ืื‘ืœื™ ืฆื™ื•ืŸ ื•ื™ืจื•ืฉืœื™ื.

    I will be in Monsey on Thursday and would love pay a Shiva Call if you are still sitting.

  8. Moses
    Reply

    ื”ืžืงื•ื ื™ื ื—ื ืื•ืชืš ื‘ืชื•ืš ืฉืืจ ืื‘ืœื™ ืฆื™ื•ืŸ ื•ื™ืจื•ืฉืœื™ื.

    I will be in Monsey on Thursday and would love pay a Shiva Call if you are still sitting.

  9. ophir cohen
    Reply

    Barry I am so sorry to read this. There is not much to say or write that would chsnge anythinh but offer my deep sympathy and respect.
    ophir

  10. Yonni Serfaty
    Reply

    Barry I’m so sorry for your loss and feel your pain with you. maybe not as strong as you, but considering all I have in my life is my MOM and she means the world to me. The one fear I have is losing her, and on that note if you ever need something, or someone to talk to, a friend to just pass the time with so your mind can breath from thinking of such a hard tragedy. you know my number, where I live and I’m here for you whenever!!!
    BDE! Mrs. Schwartz

    I pray for you, your family and hope your Mother is watching down on you, your Family and puts in a good word with the man upstairs to have mercy on our souls to always find good things and people to be with to live a long Successful and prosperous life and always find things to be Positive and Happy about in such a difficult and Corrupt world!!!
    Love Peace, and Happiness My brother!!!!
    Hope to see you on the court soon…;-)

  11. Mark
    Reply

    You’ve put into words what I’ve always felt when being nichum aveilim. I just don’t “get it”. Sometimes I thought to myself that I lack compassion, but that isn’t true, it’s just something that needs to be experienced to really feel and understand.

    .ื”ืžืงื•ื ื™ื ื—ื ืื•ืชืš ื‘ืชื•ืš ืฉืืจ ืื‘ืœื™ ืฆื™ื•ืŸ ื•ื™ืจื•ืฉืœื™ื

  12. Gary Steel
    Reply

    Barry,
    You don’t know me, but I have been following your blog, SERoundtable, and videos for a couple of years. I have benefited from your tireless work to our industry, and I am truly grateful. After viewing this morning’s video I felt compelled to check your personal blog. Now I see what you meant when you thanked those that offered support for what you are going through. You should know that there are many like me who are your quiet ‘fans’. We support you, and offer you comfort in this difficult time. Hamokom Yenachem Eschem. May you find strength and happiness in the memory of your mother and those of us who extend our deepest sympathy.

  13. Mark Robertson
    Reply

    Sincerest condolences to you Barry for your loss. I get it in one way (lost friends) but I dont get it (still have my parents). I will keep you and your family in my thoughts.

    Love Peace, and Happiness
    Mark

  14. Alan
    Reply

    Sorry to hear about your loss. I have lost someone close to me but not any of my immediate family, so I probably don’t get it. I fear the day I do.

  15. Sam
    Reply

    Wow, your story has touched me. I don’t even know you and this is my first time on your blog but it did. I am sad to read this but I really do have to agree that death will always feel common but as soon as it hits close to home, then you will realize that no matter how common you believe it is, it’s always difficult. Thank you for sharing your story.

  16. Sam
    Reply

    Wow, your story has touched me. I don’t even know you and this is my first time on your blog but it did. I am sad to read this but I really do have to agree that death will always feel common but as soon as it hits close to home, then you will realize that no matter how common you believe it is, it’s always difficult. Thank you for sharing your story.

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