Every Day a Little Death

Every day a little death              (in the buttons, in the bread) Stephen Sondheim

I rehearse my own death on Yom Kippur.
Pearls nap in the jewelry box, shiny Mary Jane’s poke from the rack and sackcloth stands in for silk.
I prefer not to sleep in a coffin, as I plan my funeral with Sharon Olds reading her latest and the Emerson string quartet playing Bartok.
Elul’s moon is weighted down by custard and should haves. The corner of shroud lifted by the wind whispers, “keep what is precious and forget the rest.”
I beg you to do the same.
Speak with me, to me, thru me of forgiveness and of regret.
All I can leave you is this perfectly fragranced afternoon, because my father sold all the good jewelry when my mother died. I do have her half moon seiko whose battery hasn’t been changed in 20 years.
Time stops. Cover the mirror, tidy the kitchen.
Death is my teacher, and every fall I rehearse, as mine marches closer.

Ritualwell content is available for free thanks to the generous support of readers like you! Please help us continue to offer meaningful content with a donation today. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Rituals

Shop Ritualwell - Discover unique Judaica products

The Reconstructionist Network

Liturgy Writing for Prayer Leaders

This immersion is for prayer leaders who have some experience writing prayers and want to receive feedback and hone their skills as liturgists in a supportive environment.

Six sessions, starting May 24th

Get the latest from Ritualwell

Subscribe for the latest rituals, online learning opportunities, and unique Judaica finds from our store.