What If I Refuse To Say Kaddish

Can’t decide if I ought to send the stragglers to read What’s Up Doc or Things You Don’t Understand.

They tell me there are stages of grief but I am not one to go in order or afraid to skip back and forth so I am in the two weeks ago I buried my dad and am enraged stage.

Got music playing cuz I am trying to chill out but am thinking about going back to the gym because a double work out when you are pushing 50 ought to be interesting.

I put 225 up for the first time since I returned and bared my teeth because it is the first workout I have had that almost felt normal.

The first that didn’t feel like the constant exhaustion was going to prevent me from getting the adrenaline surge I jonesed so badly for.

Almost was that guy who grunts and yells, but I restrained myself.

Got up off of the bench after my final set and started to breathe again because I tore down that wall that had been in front of me.

And then I had this thought, what if I refuse to say Kaddish?

Stick Your Hand In The Fire

I put my hand in the fire and held it there for as long as I could tolerate it and when I could do so no longer I jumped in.

Mom will tell you when I was quite young I sometimes got angry enough to slam my head against the floor and pain being the great teacher taught me…nothing.

I slammed my head against the floor again.

That doesn’t speak very well of me does it.

Doesn’t demonstrate great wisdom or intelligence but if I was trying to spin this yarn into silver lining I would say it does demonstrate strength, tenacity and fortitude.

Not to mention a high tolerance for pain.

But none of that takes away the stupid side of it.

However it might be the reason why I am not smarter than Einstein, Tesla, Spinoza and Maimonides ‘cuz that kind of pounding has to suck out a couple of brain cells.


Thoughts and ideas about a million different things flow through my head and there is this faint memory of a discussion with my father about saying Kaddish.

I haven’t been able to figure out if it comes from a dream or a real discussion we had 40 plus years ago about the death of my great-grandfather.

Can’t figure out if I suggested refusing to say Kaddish would bring people back and keep them from going wherever it is we go, assuming we go anywhere.

It is easy to picture us on our way to Builder’s Emporium to go pick up tools or supplies for whatever project we were going to work on.

“Let’s take a ride Josh.”

I’d jump at those and try not to get too squirrely when dad would decide to spend more time checking out the multiple things that caught his fancy there.

I can hear his explanation and picture him talking to me in much more direct terms now.

“You can refuse to say it but it won’t bring me or anyone back. The body is a shell, the neshama is gone.”

I was a bit cruder when someone asked if I was going to stay angry with people who didn’t offer any sort of condolence.

“Dad isn’t going to jump out of the ground and say ‘I AM BACK!’ Doesn’t matter what they do or don’t do. The days of his walking with us here are over.”

The Words We Don’t Share

Got my headphones on and more music flowing through my ears.

The resumption of normalcy feels both good and awkward. Some of the well meaning folks said things they thought would comfort but just irritated me instead.

I mostly know where my head is at and what I am trying to accomplish but still have my questions and doubts.

Some of the responses and questions to what I write have made me wonder how well I communicate and question whether people think I have laid everything I think/feel upon these pages.

The words we don’t share here are meaningful, significant and of great importance. They are missing puzzle pieces that provide more insight int0 where the entirety of my head is at.

Those missing pieces are intentional. I am unfiltered and willing to say quite a bit but that doesn’t mean I need to or will do so in this venue.

There are boundaries I won’t cross and things I won’t share with just anyone and that is as it should be.

If you need to know chances are you do or you don’t because you haven’t asked and I haven’t volunteered.

I recognize that sounds like a contradiction but that is what it means to be human. We like to think we are rational and logical in our thoughts/actions but oftentimes we aren’t and that is ok.

It is part of what makes people interesting.

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