Skip to main content

Kaddish: Love Language

The words are so familiar.
I know them all.
But I don’t want them to roll off my tongue easily.
I want to utter each bewildering syllable
In all its intricacy.
As if dad was listening.
And I want to feel the breath
That comes in between.

Is like a colossal timeless magnet
Beckoning the heartbroken.
Inviting them to find comfort within its shield.
“Attach yourself to me,” it says,
“And you will be sheltered among generations of souls
Who have found connection
In my cadence.
In the rhythm of my practice.”

Is like a thread
Weaving through memories
And bringing you close.

Sitting in my own space,
And yet in the company of community
I take time to remember.

To close my eyes and listen to my heart
Or to open them and look at photos of your face.
To tune my ears to the birds
Or to the silence.
And to breathe
As if I could breathe for you.

Now, your breath is within me.
And Kaddish is like a love letter.
Words said aloud
But felt privately, deep inside.
Love language.

Personal Project:


Torn paper and watercolor (9 X 12)




In Judaism, there is a custom of reciting a prayer called Kaddish for 11 months following the death of a parent. I observed this practice after my father died. Upon completing this period of mourning, I wrote this poem and created this art. I am honored that this work has been published on