Dearest Shekhinah, who resides on the highest of heights,
I beseech of you:
Preserve my marriage as a peaceful memory,
Restore me this year to life, to ongoing healing,
healing of the soul and the body.
Bring me out from the days of my marriage,
into the days of my widowhood with grace and compassion.
Adonai, my God who heals the broken hearted, and restores their bodies: Bring consolations to the bereaved within their homes and their hearts.
God, blessed in day and in night, blessed as I rise up from my formal mourning, blessed as I lie down in my private torment and yearning: Gather into eternal life the soul of my beloved, my soulmate, _________.
Do not hide your presence from me! My God, do not tarry! Strengthen my heart and give courage to my soul. Spread over me the shelter of your peace, that I might reside there through this journey of pain and grief, memories and flashbacks, dreams and nightmares, anger and pain, heartache and hatred, renewed joy and peace, rediscovered strength and livelihood. May the days of my marriage remain for me memories of love, warmth, joy, and friendship. May the days of my widowhood continue to preserve these memories and create new paths – in the path of your Torah – with love, tolerance, peace, and humility. Amen.
Compiled in loving memory of my beloved husband, Cantor Joshua Gluckstern-Reiss, z"l, on the occasion of completing the recitation of kaddish. Josh died tragically on March 7, 1999, six months after being diagnosed with leukemia, and one month after a bone marrow transplant. His was a life of love, laughter, music, and fun. May his memory be an inspired blessing to us all. This kavannah is one attempt at understanding his death, and my journey of healing, within the Jewish context of our shared life, and with relationship to God.
Originally published in Kerem. Used by permission of the author.