This can be the most difficult time for a family. How to help find meaning from life and to express the feelings of a family at this time takes caring, understanding and sensitivity. When Cantor Russ meets with the family and/or friends of the deceased a day or two prior to the service, he helps begin the healing process by discussing and sharing stories, some poignant, some, perhaps, even funny concerning the deceased. As family members begin to tell the stories of the past an even stronger bond is forged from generation to generation. The service should reflect Jewish tradition as well as the personality of the individual being remembered on that day.
“Memory is a unique possession. It captures the past and trains it to our need. The harshness of old events is softened by vagueness and the pleasures of happy moments are sharpened by vivid imagination. Loved ones linger on in the glory of their individual uniqueness. In life they willed to live and hewed the path of their personal difference. In death, they transcend decay and find their niche in fond remembrance. No one is defined by the success or the sameness of another; if it were so, memory would die from generalities. In the particular grace of each human being lies immortality.”