...and I just got back from a levaya (funeral).
Well, I wasn't really at most of it. A 3 year old - three year old! - girl fell into an open manhole and died around 5 PM today. (The righteous man who jumped in after her to rescue her is in critical condition.)
The funeral began at 9:30 PM.
I read about it online at 9:45 PM.
In the next few minutes, the girl staying at my house makes some calls, and discovers that this is her cousin, albeit one she never met.
By 10:20 PM we're in the car, by 10:30 PM the eulogies are over and they're on the way to Har Hamenuchos. We get there by 10:45, see the lights on the hill in the darkness of the cemetery, drive around a bit to get closer, see the men leaving, walking past our quiet, still, darkened car, by 11 PM.
I think of my children, so wished for, so prayed for, so appreciated, so dynamic and full of life and wonderfulness - and all children are like that. We cannot know, cannot fully comprehend that all of that could be extinguished in just a moment, or else we would not be able to live our daily lives. But for a moment I realize it, comprehend it, feel it... and in that moment I want to clutch my children to me and never let them go, want to devote the rest of my life to thanking God for bringing them into the world, want to put them in a bubble to protect them for all time... and to protect me.
As one of the better commentators on this article about the tragedy said, Hashem can do anything, even the most miraculous things. So he should just make a miracle and comfort the parents of this child (who just had another baby two weeks ago), and comfort the person (probably like a 13 year old) who was watching this little girl in the park when it happened.
And he should comfort all of klal yisroel by bringing an end to our tears and mourning, and bringing us the ultimate yeshua and end to this season being a season of sadness forever, amen.