A year after someone dies, they unveil the headstone. In the Jewish faith, that is, you wait one year and then you inveil the headstone, which should, I guess, be the end of the mourning, or at least the beginning of the end of the mourning.

Today, we had the unveiling for Jordana’s grandmother, who was buried a year ago. A year ago, there was driving snow and we had the awkward attempts at sideways umbrellas and people trying to be there for other people harder than they were trying to deal with their own shit.

It’s tough to know how to deal with death. I went to a funeral about eight years ago, the funeral of my girlfriend’s father’s mother. It was the kind of family that was a balancing act between terrific egos completely self absorbed, and desperate hangers-on that tried to placate the others in order to find their identity.

I didn’t quite fit in on either side, and the funeral was the beginning of the end of that relationship. My girlfriend wept epic tears and berated me for not being there for her more, but even better was her father and his wife. The father reverently, and for all to see, bent down and kissed the urn that contained the ashes, but his wife, the step-daughter to this woman who disliked her and whom she disliked, was caught between not wanting to be there at all and wanting to show the proper respect to her husband. So, instead of walking away, and instead of kissing the urn, she kissed her fingers and smacked the top of the urn, almost like a high five.

Today, there was a different dynamic. Everyone here would rather be helpful than helped. Jordana’s aunt said, “It’s a shame that she won’t be here this summer, we have three weddings and she would have loved this.”, that was really the extent of anyone crying out for help. The rabbi led the group, about twenty of us, and then at the end he turned to Aunt Cherie and said, “it isn’t a shame she won’t be there, the weddings are a testimony to her.” and he just looked at her until she smiled.

I have a lot of thoughts, always, about the fact that my children will have to figure out what they want to do about their jewishness. As the rabbi prayed, Jordana said the prayer under her breath, in Hebrew, a prayer that almost no-one else there knew. She’s admitted to me that she may become more Jewish as the years go by, and I’m prepared for the changes that will take place, no matter what direction.

But in the middle of the day, the year after the driving snow, as the Rabbi spoke, the sun came out and warmed the back of Jordana’s black jacket and the flat of my hand on the small of her back, and I heard Jordana’s grandfather, as he stared at the blank half of the stone that bore his wife’s name and waited for his, I heard him whisper to Aunt Cherie “don’t worry. She’ll be there.”