Family member(s) may alternate reading stanzas, one person can read, or the chaplain may read:
These things I know:
How the living go on living
And how the dead go on living with them
So that in a forest
Even a dead tree casts a shadow
And the leaves fall one by one
And the branches break in the wind
And the bark peels off slowly
And the trunk cracks
And the rain seeps in through the cracks
And the trunk falls to the ground
And the moss covers it
And in the spring the rabbits find it
And build their nest
Inside the dead tree
So that nothing is wasted in nature
Or in love.
—"Life After Death," by Laura Gilpin
We come to you from a place of sh’virah (brokenness)
Our beloved [Hebrew name of the deceased] has died
And we are left with our pain
And our sadness
Even as we grieve [his/her/their] death,
We honor the life of [name]
We make a blessing of [his/her/their] memory
By fulfilling [his/her/their] promise
To give life to another
In donating the [body/organs/tissue] of [name],
We pray that from our brokenness, a shleimut (wholeness) may be found
May this gift bring light, hope, and healing to another’s darkness
And may we be comforted in the darkness of our grief
By the love and light that surround us.
Clergy: Zikhron[o/a] livrakha – may [name]’s memory be for blessing, and hamakom yenakhem etekhem betokh shaar avelay tziyon viyrushalayim – may you be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.
If it is the custom of the hospital, whomever is available can line the halls as the deceased is wheeled out, followed by the family, in silence.
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