foto: besøg i Nr. Lyngvig, sommer 2012
Mine tanker om Hetty: under samling - vent, til jeg får skrevet ned!
Birthe og jeg var på vej hjem fra besøg hos Thøger og Mellow i Tucson,
så vi lige fra landing i Kastrup kunne slutte os til en shivah hos Arne.
Hetty var død d. 21. april.
Tirzah Ben-David 24th Nissan 5774
Funeral of Hetty Gorosch Kviat: 24th April 2014
“And I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever”… What does it mean to dwell in God’s house? What is God’s house? For our ancestors, on the one hand it was the Temple in Jerusalem (never a very reliable address), but beyond that it was the universe, which God Himself had created. Of course it is the universe, not just this one, that we partially know, but every possible state of being or existence, whether we can visualize it or not. We all dwell in God’s house forever: born and unborn, alive and dead. And while we live, most of us do our best to be worthy of our place in it. But there are people who seem possessed of a special grace, lit by an inner light. Hetty was one of them. The woman who wrote that extraordinary letter was my dearest friend from the moment that we met in 2005. We had so much in common, including the fact that neither of us could competently operate a washing machine. I was also comforted by the fact that she had an even worse sense of direction than I did: Arne is still convinced that she’s the reason. Telephone booths only had one door. Without her, for better or for worse, I would not have become the Rabbi of Shir Hatzafon that I am today. Beyond the gift of friendship, Hetty had a deep wisdom and a special capacity for gifting it to people almost without their noticing. You could tell her anything, and I often did. Her response was unshockable and unsentimental - she never said a word that she didn’t mean or voice an opinion that wasn’t her own. That instinctive and incorruptible honesty was a rare and amazing thing. Now that she’s gone, its full significance is starting to dawn on me. To be Hetty’s friend was to have a rock and a refuge, and someone to admire your new shoes; to be her family was to be loved and cherished without stint. She and Arne were inseparable for nearly forty years, although she did once hit him with her handbag, and Alex, Sandra and Mimi had a relationship with her that would be the envy of any mother. And of course she and Arne were also the ‘Ima’ and ‘Abba’ of Shir Hatzafon, who are also bereaved: this is truly a family funeral. The depth of our love decrees the depth of our abandonment - that’s the price we pay for our humanity. Arne and Alex, Sandra and Mimi and Doris and Fay carry that heaviest burden of grief - the soul’s lament for a part of the fabric of our life which has been torn away. But Hetty is not torn, she is as whole as she ever was, and we will be too, if we are patient and of good courage. Siegfried Sassoon, a great poet of the First World War, was very intimate with death, but he nevertheless wrote this - it’s called ‘Everyone Sang’: Everyone suddenly burst out singing, And I was filled with such delight As prisoned birds must find in freedom Winging wildly across the white Orchards and dark green fields; on - on - and out of sight. Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted; And beauty came like the setting sun: My heart was shaken with tears; and horror Drifted away… Oh but Everyone Was a bird: and the song was wordless; the singing will never be done. May God bless you Hetty, and carry you on eagles’ wings. We expect postcards.