A Long Goodbye

Would you want to die suddenly in your sleep

Comments (20)

(20) Anonymous, November 22, 2009 7:17 AM

. To "(8) Kiva": This was one of Lori's finest speeches. Why don't you spend your remaining days doing things for others (even for animals if you can't find any humans, or plants if you can't find any animals), like you hoped your friends

(19) Anonymous, November 22, 2009 7:16 AM

Agreed. I am not looking forward to caring for my mother in the year/s to come, she has Alzheimer's/Dementia and acute arthritis. However, I am glad I have the time with her now. Soon she may not know who i am, so now i am trying to spend as much time with as I can. i don't think I would like her to die suddenly, even with the reality of future care for approaching. thank you for your lessons every week.

(18) SusanE, November 21, 2009 1:31 AM

My Family and My Friends Know Already.

We talk about such things in conversation. Life - death, who we are leaving behind and how we all will be looking forward to a wonderful adventure. We keep it light and sincere. My friends and my children know how wonderful I think they are. I know that this world would be a darker and colder place without their having been here. I thank G-d everyday for letting me be in their company. We don't know that it will be us who leave first or our children who leave first or our friends who leave first. For that reason we must take care of the business of loving and caring right now. If you don't already do this, tonight at dinner would be a perfect time to begin.

(17) Chanie, November 20, 2009 4:06 AM


This past week, while sitting shiva for my mother a"h, I found myself repeating the obvious gifts from G-d that helped us through the two-year ordeal of her illness. Watching Lori's clip was another gift. A balm, a salve for my pain. Yes, we got to say goodbye. We transitioned from life to death and from daughter to orphan slowly. I am grateful for every moment my mother was with me, that I could kiss her hand knowing I should treasure the moment. Although she was the one who suffered, she never complained. She, too, was using the time she had left to savor the moments we could be together.

(16) Anonymous, November 19, 2009 6:30 AM

Well said

That was beautiful, Mrs. Palatnik. I would have never thought of it that way, I need to rethink two things now - whether I would prefer dying in my sleep if I had a choice, or whether I would rather prolong it. The choice seemed simple before (in my sleep!) but now I'm not so sure. Either way though, we can't choose. But we can choose to say those unsaid things while we still live. All in all, nicely put and thank you, as always, for sharing your words of wisdom!

(15) Sheila Silver Halet, November 18, 2009 7:02 PM

Saying Goodbye

At the age of 83, after a six month battle with heart disease, my mother died. In my heart of heats - I knew this was the end, but I kept believing she would make another ten years. Her favorite expression to me was "there comes a time." Since my dad had died 6 years before after a long battle with cancer, I had to make sure that my Mom's story was taped.(since I missed the opportunity with Daddy) So I did just that...I asked her questions about her life in Russia and how she came to America etc. so I could hear her voice the rest of my life. We said all that had to be said, yet when the moment came when she died-I couldn't believe that my best friend and confidante was now with the neshamahs of her family. May their memories all be for a blessing!!!!

(14) J. R., November 18, 2009 6:13 PM

What I hope for myself

I hope I can have enough of a warning to say all the appropriate goodbyes and take care of all my responsibilities. Then, when I had "cleared my accounts", I wouldn't mind going to sleep on Earth and waking up in Heaven.

(13) rochel, November 18, 2009 2:16 AM

Hiding an illness from family makes their death feel like a sudden death!

An aunt of mine past away from cancer last year and the family kept it top secret. I knew something wasn't right, but when I asked I was told it's nothing serious....It must be very difficult to tell your close ones that there's a terminal illness, but the pain of losing someone and not knowing that its coming is equal to a sudden death even though she suffered in pain before dying.

(12) Iris Moskovitz, November 18, 2009 1:01 AM

Wow! What a powerful message.

I unfortunately lost my father at a very young age-not quite four years old. When I got older, I would go to his grave and simply cry, because of the fact that I do not really remember him. I was raised by an incredibly loving and special mother, and an uncle, whom was like my father figure. Just two months before my uncle's death, I went to go visit him, with my then 6-month-old daughter. I simply could not bear to leave his side. I am so very sorry that my uncle had to suffer for so long from so many illnesses, but I am so grateful I was able to say an appropriate goodbye to him.

(11) Elana, November 18, 2009 12:05 AM

Wonderful words

As always, you are amazing and insightful, Lori.

(10) Nancy Valla, November 17, 2009 11:21 PM

What's easiest on the family

My mother died suddenly, and the family was in shock. My dad's illness stretched on for many years, and the family was drained. My hope is to go like my mom.

(9) Keith in Woking, UK, November 17, 2009 9:48 PM

Thank you Lori

Beautifully said Lori. G-d bless you.. שלום

(8) Kiva, November 17, 2009 9:33 PM

Let me die in my sleep!

Sorry for your loss, but I disagree wholeheartly. I have been ill for 8 1/2 years and friends and family have ignored me and disappeared from my life. Nobody wants to hear, and to be honest, I don't care to hear what any of them have to say at this point. You see, when you are struggling and people you thought cared about you aren't there to help, why would you want them around in your last days. To watch over you so they can assuage their guilt. When my time comes, which will be in the near future, I wish to die in my sleep. Free of the the foolish ness and lack of compassion of the others.

(7) Anonymous, November 17, 2009 9:20 PM

beautiful words - that penetrate the heart

beautiful words - that penetrate the heart

(6) Anonymous, November 17, 2009 7:06 PM

Why Why Why do people choose NOT to say I love you to their loved ones every single day...say I'm proud of you every single day...I'm so lucky to have you in my life...yes we want our loved ones to be with us always but NEVER NEVER let a moment pass when you don't say I LOVE YOU so there won't be any regrets.

(5) ruth housman, November 17, 2009 4:50 PM

Who by Fire?

there is a beautiful song by Leonard Cohen which begins with these words in the summary line. It's profound, because yes, we are all going to that place, and how and when, is mostly unknown. But if God decides how and when, then perhaps God also has a role in our story, as we live it. And if this is so, then the learning curve that is built into all of our stories is just this most beautiful and true message of Lori's. We can live it by loving it, and by telling those we love, just how much they mean, to us. It could be that treating each moment as if it could be the last, is the way to live, in an ever lasting way.

(4) Ben Gubar, November 17, 2009 3:55 PM

You're right!

First Lori, thank you for "Remember My Soul". It has got me thought the most difficult time of my life. I lost my mother 7 weeks ago, and have found the wisdom and love in your book to be just what I've needed. I continue to study Torah in her name, which is something I've never done before. Mom had a drawn out illness, and yes, I was able to tell her all that was in my heart. That's not to say that I wish I could have said more. As time passes, there are times when I think that I wish I could have said this or that. But I truly believe G-d knew what was in our hearts and therefore we didn't need to say certain things. Up until the day before she passed, we were able to laugh and share the love that we felt. Her last day, though, she was too weak to even open her eyes, but there were no goodbyes and certainly no regrets. I thank G-d that He took her out of her pain. The most important thing my mom ever told me will always be with me. As I was her only caregiver for the past three years, I would say to her, "Mom, how can I go on without you?" I'll always remember her answer: "G-d will give you the strength."

(3) Rosen, November 15, 2009 11:54 PM

the warmth of friends and family

One thing I've learned is that we should not take for granted our friends, family, and others that inspire us, because there can always be the chance we may never see or hear of them again...As for those who have bothered us, even years ago, to what degree is it okay to contact such individuals on how much they upset and disappointed you via Facebook, Google, or whatever internet medium where you can finally say what you need to say to them and get it off your chest - or is that just a bunch of negative energy and a waste of time dwelling on such people who you believe did you wrong long ago?...All in all, I am quite grateful for my friends and family, and should not take that for granted given how much life changes determining who stays and who goes..

(2) Anonymous, November 15, 2009 4:43 PM

you are so right, lori!

such words of wisdom. don't wait until it's too late.

(1) Chana Z, November 15, 2009 9:35 AM


That was amazing- Thank you so much!!!!!!!


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