Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Last Melody

As told to Machla Abramovitz by Bracha Silver

The ICU usually allows two visitors at a time. This time was different — as it had been other times during the last three months of Avi’s life. In addition to nurses and family, the Who’s Who of the frum music scene squeezed into the room.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

SingerShlomoKatz had flown in from Israel and was making music along withShlomoReichman,GabiShull, Yummy Schachter,AbieRotenberg, and others. Accompanied by guitars and keyboards, their sweet, heartfelt voices rang out. The nurses didn’t understand the meaning of the Hebrew words being sung, but that didn’t matter. With hands clasped, they swayed to the harmonious rhythms and melodious beats. “Avi, open your eyes,” I whispered to my son as he lay attached to his lifeline — the respirator that was helping him breathe. “Look who’s here,ShlomoKatz. He flew in from Israel. He’s standing right next to you. Avi, please open your eyes.” Avi had been slipping in and out of consciousness for the last few days. He couldn’t open his eyes. Still, he understood. I knew that because the monitor showed his heart rate going up — he was excited. As we swayed to the music, we felt Hashem’s presence pervading the room. And this wasn’t the first time: this happened often in the ICU with Avi. I was happy for Avi. I was also happy for myself. Only a few days earlier, the ICU’s head physician had instructed the nurse not to resuscitate Avi should he stop breathing on his own. He did this against my express wishes. “Bracha, why do this to yourself?” he told me. “He’s going to die anyway.” But how could I deprive my son of a single moment of life? Had we not slapped the hospital with a rabbinic and legal order, Avi might not have been there with us that day, getting excited by the music. During the final months of Avi’s life, I encountered acts of unbelievable kindness from staff and strangers, as well as heartbreaking coldness and cowardice. In caring for Avi and advocating for his right to live, I found my voice as I had never found it before. It is a respectful voice, filled with conviction, determination, confidence — and gratitude to G-d.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
What’s in a Name?
Shoshana Friedman “What does Writer X have to say this week?”
Atonement — Fake and Real
Yonoson Rosenblum White confessionals and faux rituals
Four Walls Coming Full Circle
Eytan Kobre All the while, there’s been a relationship in the offing...
And Yet We Smile
Yisroel Besser We are the nation that toils to be happy at all costs
Out of This World
Rabbi Henoch Plotnick Dirshu Hashem b’himatzo — we are in Hashem’s company now...
Steven and Jonathan Litton
Rachel Bachrach The co-owners of Litton Sukkah, based in Lawrence, NY
Tali Messing
Moe Mernick Tali Messing, engineering manager at Facebook Tel Aviv
Sick Note
Jacob L. Freedman “Of course, Dr. Freedman. Machul, machul, machul”
Avoiding Health Columns Can Be Good for You
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Only one reliable guide for good health: our Torah
Endnote: Side Notes
Riki Goldstein Most Jewish music industry entertainers have side profes...
Me, Myself, and Why
Faigy Peritzman Where there’s no heart and no love, there’s no point
Can’t Do It Without You
Sarah Chana Radcliffe When you step up to the plate, you build your home team
Eternal Joy
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz The joy of Succos is the fruit of spiritual victory
The Appraiser: Part III
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Make sure your child knows his strengths
Hidden Special Needs
Rena Shechter You won’t see his special needs, but don’t deny them
Dear Wealthy Friend
Anonymous There’s no need for guilt. I am truly happy for you