April 24, 2011. Staten Island, NY.
I walk in into a dimly lit chapel. Only a couple of people are in the room. It is a half an hour before guests would begin arriving. At the head of the hall is a stand with a rich-red mahogany box. I avoid looking at it. Rabbi touches my arm, “We don’t normally do open viewing, but if you want to see her right now, you can, as a family member.” “She” was my Mom. I desperately wanted to leave. I didn’t want to acknowledge the fact that my mom was dead. I couldn’t handle it. I knew that once I see her dead in the box, it will all be real, and I wouldn’t be able to pretend that she is still alive but avoids talking with me on the phone.
Everyone looks at me for a lead. I am the oldest...
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