Thursday, December 20, 2012

Noah Pozner: the winter solstice

Ever since Noah died, we have been looking for signs of his presence: he loved playing tricks, so any flicker of the light above the front door, any sudden chirping of the bird ornaments on the Christmas tree, any curtain twitching when there is no draught and we look at each other and we say: Did you see that? Do you think it's Noah? And our faces light up and we smile and we say fondly: he is at it again. And: Of course, he is here. Where else would he be? This is his home.
Yesterday we were in the car when one of us remarked: Have you noticed how the days are growing longer? Longer? On the 19th of December? Impossible! But it was almost five and a golden light was indeed still shining on the fields on each side of the road. It had to be an illusion. Then a thought struck: Noah! And we laughed and admonished: Noah, stop playing with the axis of the Earth!
I don't think we are going bonkers as a family. I think we are grasping at straws, at anything that will help keep us afloat. Some of us do believe that Noah's spirit is playfully letting us know of his presence and who is to say they are wrong? Plus it is a fun game to play and it always brings smiles all around.
But the reality is that Noah is indeed messing with the axis of our planet. The days have become extraordinarily long and the nights painfully short. Sleep is elusive, we have to remind ourselves and each other to eat. Still we are slowly emerging from the abyss. Everyone is helping: community support is extraordinary and makes an enormous difference. We are never alone (I don't mean physically of course): we are surrounded by love, held together by caring hands. We have met entire contingents of angels since Noah passed. I never knew our world contained so many...
Even our government is showing love. FBI agents have worked with the airlines to fly in the remainder of the family: the Midwest gang arrived yesterday, the Pacific Northwest crew will be here tomorrow. We will spend an entire week all together: there will be tears and laughter. There'll be a collective intake of breath among the grown-ups everytime we sit the kids down to eat and count eight plates instead of nine. Ethan, our almost 6-year old grandson from Seattle, will be stuck playing with girls if he wants to remain in his age group. Some kids will act out, some will fight, some will run wild. We are prepared for anything. As for Noah's spirit, he may not be so playful: he would have so loved a week-long sleepover. He's got to know he's missing out big time...
The grown-ups are learning to cope. There are moments of sudden, intense and almost unbearable grief: yesterday afternoon the sight of three thirteen- or fourteen-year old boys crossing in front of us at a crosswalk brought in such stark relief the life that had been robbed from Noah (and from us) that it was all we could do to keep ourselves together. And there are moments when darkness seems to be lifting.
The hardest part is dealing with each other's pain. We have all turned into each other's keepers. Even the little kids. I see Arielle and Sophia playing happily, drawing, running, eating tons of cookies at shiva, and generally acting happy but they steal frequent glances in their mother's direction. They give unexpected hugs.
Today I am on photography duty: Veronique wants me to tour Sandy Hook and document the memorials to the little kids. If the pictures turn out, I'll post some tomorrow.
Meanwhile if you want to have a bit of fun with Noah, go make a taco at Tacos for Noah. I have no clue who put up that website but I love it. I can't wait to let the girls loose on it.


  1. Tacos for Noah was launched by the parents of a little girl named Ayelet Galena. Their names are Hindy and Seth Galena). Ayelet passed away from illness several months back. She was a beautiful little two year old. Her parents were very touched by Noah and his love for tacos, so they launched the website

  2. This reminds me so much of the time after my late husband died from leukemia. All these little "signs", sights or smells that evoke memories. All the straws that we clutch to retain something of the essence of our loved one.

    Do you know this poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye (1905 - 2004)? It was comforting for me:

    Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep
    I am in a thousand winds that blow, I am the softly falling snow.
    I am the gentle showers of rain, I am the fields of ripening grain. I am in the morning hush,
    I am in the graceful rush
    Of beautiful birds in circling flight, I am the starshine of the night.
    I am in the flowers that bloom,
    I am in a quiet room.
    I am in the birds that sing, I am in each lovely thing.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there. I do not die.

  3. I am so very happy to have found your site and I check it daily to read of the wonderful memories you recall and see the precious pictures you post of such a beautiful soul. Noah's spirit surrounds all of you, and will always be a forceful presence in your lives. He is in my thoughts every day, that smile and face draw me to him. Many hugs and much love heading your way from New Mexico. I will remember your sweet Noah always.


  4. When my brother in law died an untimely death many years ago, I lost a set of keys for my work truck. We just flew back home from his funeral and I misplaced my keys. I really needed those keys as I was about to start a new contract and I looked all over the house. I even enlisted my wife's keen sense of finding misplaced items, but all in vain. This went on for three days. I generally don't loose things, so I was spinning my wheels and losing my mind. I was looking in all the implausible places that keys could be in. On the third day, I sat down on my favorite chair, a chair I sat on countless times in the course of the three day key hunt, and there, on the arm rest, were my keys.

    I knew then and there that my ever helpful and loving brother in law was there helping me. Noah will show you his way.

    Take care.

  5. MC, it's so important that the family have come together to support one another. At the end of the day no matter what we have done or achieved in this world, our family is what really matters. You describe the ups and downs of grief but unfortunately you will just have to go where it takes you. It is true, inconsolable sadness can just come out of the blue and often is triggered by a song, picture or memory. Would it be helpful to write a private diary that perhaps you might share with your family at a later point.
    In another post you talked about having something special of Noah's. It might be helpful if each family member made their own memory box of Noah - special items such as photos, toys or his school or artwork. It might be comforting for the children.

    Love and prayers,
    Michele T

  6. My heart goes out to you and your family. I am saddened by Noah's little face, his eyes remind me of my my little 6 year old boy and do the mannerisms described by his mother in the eulogy. Thank goodness the Jewish community is there for you to pull through. Some that are in your position don't have this support. You have lost a wonderful child and I weep for you. For many years, since I was a child, I would wonder if there was life after death. It was always on my mind. I've stumbled upon proof without actively seeking it. There is for certain life after death. Is Noah stuck in our dimension due to the grief holding him back or did he cross over to the good Lord. Maybe an unorthodox approach, but since this is a child, maybe reach out to a reputable and reliable medium that will be able to tell you of Noah's whereabouts and to know he awaits you happily. To help you live for the next day.

  7. We made real tacos for Noah when we read how much he loved them. I'm trying to do something in memory of each child and for Noah, it was tacos :)

  8. If it were my son, I'd be keeping his clothes and belongings and holding onto all of that for his memory to live on, and I'd smell the clothes to smell his smell (and his bedding), his favourite teddy, my son's is his cuddly toy black and white dog he always sleeps with and finds comfort in daily even when not in bed at bedtime.

  9. He is with you as you are with him. He will grow up, grow on and continue his journey and his ways of touching your lives will be as unique as he is. Thank you for introducing your wonderful, funny little Noah to us. Your grandmother's love reminds me that death does not halt the connection. I sometimes dream of my grandmother being with me- hers was a hand I held on to tightly when she was still big and I was still small. She brings me light and calm while I sleep and when I wake up I know she gets how much we miss her. I live in another country now and out of the blue, I get a whiff of her home or the particular smell of the old toys I played with there or her talcum powder, while I am gardening or in my own home & it is like having that strong, weathered, hard-working hand holding mine for as long as I can stay quiet and listen.



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