The Worst Noise In the World

It is the worst noise in the world. It comes at you like a semi-truck on a speeding highway. It attacks your soul like a nasty infection that you can never seem to get rid of. When you hear the worst noise in the world you start to feel small. Like a child clinging to innocence, holding on to your father’s fingers. Realizing that your childish hands are too small for his, so you settle on his pinky.

The fatherly chubby pinky. It sends you back to the time when you were in the mall and he would straighten his hand and would automatically assume that you were in trouble and hold his pinky.

The worst noise brings you back to that cold rainy day in Georgia. You were supporting your friends. Watching them break down and create the worst noise in the world.

The first time you heard it and it meant something to you, you were twenty-one. The party age. But this is no party. This is a death march. You can see the simple coffin where he lies with a plain Jewish star because Jewish people don’t get buried in fancy coffins or fancy clothes. The black ribbons symbolizing death that family members wear. Ripped in half to symbolize loss. An ancient tradition.

The raw feeling of understanding that the pain is over. He is gone. Going into the ground for eternity. And realizing that you will never see him in the flesh again.

The raw feeling of watching your dear sister lose it because of her relationship with him.

“Please stand and repeat this prayer”

Standing next to Anne on the right. Jayne on the left. Jayne clenching the purple patterned tissue box. Trying to be strong. Anne holding me up on the right. Jayne on left. Standing and realizing that you will never see him again. Never hearing the stories of your childhood again.

You start to feel the weight of a thousand elephants on your chest and

You

Can’t

Breath.

Anne on the right. Jayne on the left. You start to feel like you are merry-go-round that won’t stop spinning and you just want to get off but you can’t because this is really happening.

You

Can’t

Breath

Anne on the right. Jayne on the left. You start to hyperventilate and feel like you want to throw up and run far away from what is happening. But you can’t move.

Anne on the right. It’s going to be okay. Just breath. It’s going to be okay. Just breath. Jayne on the left clenching the patterned purple tissue box.

It is time for the worst noise. It comes at you like a train at a thousand miles per hour.

The Rabbi takes the shovel and explains that it is like tucking in the departed. Three times.

The dirt hits the coffin

And you almost fall over. Anne on the left. Jayne on the right.

The dirt hits the coffin

And you realize that this is the end. You say to yourself, “This is it. It’s over.”

The dirt hits the coffin

You realize that he would want this. To have Anne, Rachel, and Sarah tuck him in for his eternal slumber.

But

Jayne collapses in Dad’s arms because it is too much emotion and she hears the worst noise in the world for the first time.

And

She

Can’t

Breath.

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