Journal entry by Eve Ilsen — 31 minutes ago
It is the eve of Zalman's yahrzeit, and I did something I have never done before.
Where I usually place the shabbos candles, I made a sort of altar: a colorful woven cloth on which I placed the yahrzeit candle, a rock-crystal lamp, photos of Zalman...
Three others who loved Zalman truly, worked with him closely, and feel like household members to me, joined me.
First, I searched for the version of Kaddish in Hebrew which we can say even if there are fewer than a minyan---because for a prayer in Hebrew, you may not need a minyan; the angels understand Hebrew (but not the Aramaic of the Kaddish) and will deliver the message: in honor of this person's life, you are praising the Creator. This implies that they must have done something right.
Then we sat down and told our own Zalman stories.
I learned about the stashes of chocolate that Zalman kept in his desk at Naropa, and shared with visitors. (I already knew about the stashes in his desk downstairs.)
They heard about the Magical Mystery drawer upstairs. (The tiny wooden cylinder labeled ל ס ד has mysteriously disappeared.)
I heard tales of his impeccable intuition on behalf of others.
Three of us stayed and ate dinner together, to the music of rain on the skylights and more stories.
My heart feels full, and blessed, and happy.
I imagine that my trickster-rabbi-beloved-husband would be genuinely delighted that I did, commemorating his life on the anniversary of his death, that which truly nourished my heart and honored the deep joy he brought into my life.
I invite you to do the same.