Thursday, April 3, 2014

In Memoriam

It's no news I read the obituaries. But I also glance down at the paid notices, with particularly lengthy ones getting my attention. It's not just their size, but their expense. Those lines add up, particularly in the NYT.

My eyes then usually hit the "In Memoriam" section. These memoriams are smaller, far quicker to read, and there aren't as many. Perhaps because I've placed some there myself on the anniversaries of two simultaneously departed colleagues that I pay attention.

Last week a solo memoriam caught my eye for several reasons. There was a Yiddish word I wasn't familiar with, and the 18th anniversary of a son's murder was being recognized.

The notice was for Howard Pilmar, who was murdered 18 years ago in an office near the Empire State Building, and whose killer remains unknown. It was a particularly brutal slaying involving a knife attack. The unsolved murder must be one of the older ones in New York City. It would seem the investigation might still be considered open.

According to online Yiddish sources, "the Yiddish word, 'yuertzeit,' or 'yahrtzeit' is the yearly anniversary of a loved one's death – being a mitzvah for the rest of the survivor's life. There is no 'closure' per se; ..."

Even when you know more, there is still always why.

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