Yitgadal v’yitkadash – dVerse Haibun Monday


Sitting in a hospital, watching and waiting for my father to die, that was my memory of three years ago. I remember the bizarre juxtaposition of the glorious, scorching summer outside, and sitting in the shadow of partially-drawn curtains, as if the room was already preparing us for mourning, for the stopping of all the clocks. A butterfly danced in the breeze of the oscillating fan, fluttering above our heads as if attempting to lighten the atmosphere, enticing us outside with the glories of Nature dusted brilliantly on its wings. It didn’t seem right that the heady perfume of honeysuckle should still waft in through the half open window whilst life was disappearing in front of our eyes. But on the other hand…

sunlight and fragrance

haunt our days with rich hints of

renewal – the end.


dVerse is back to its normal post-anniversary-celebration schedule, with Haibun Monday! This week, our lovely host Toni has asked us to write on the theme of summer, heat, keeping cool and our memories of the challenges of the dog days.

As you can see from above, my dad died in the summer three years ago, and it was the oddest experience, something so sad and challenging happening in such a heatwave. It didn’t seem quite right.

Please do hop on over to dVerse and see how others have interpreted the challenge – no haibun will be the same as any other!

Oh, and by the way, the name of this pieces is inspired by the opening words of the Jewish prayer, the Mourner’s Kaddish – the words mean ‘glorified and sanctified’.


32 thoughts on “Yitgadal v’yitkadash – dVerse Haibun Monday

  1. Oseh shalom bim’romav hu ya’aseh shalom
    aleinu v’al kol Yis’ra’eil v’im’ru

    I love how you wove elements of renewal and grace in this. I am saddened by the reason for it but truly love the prayer here.

  2. The Kaddish is so beautiful. I have always had many Jewish friends and have always been in awe at both the funeral and wedding ceremonies. The passing of your father, while sad, seemed to resonate with the beauty of the summer season. Renewal, indeed. Thank you for sharing. Butterflies were a part of my sister’s dying, too.

  3. A poignant memory to share….the contrast of imagery is very well done. You have life disappearing on one hand, while smelling the heady perfume of honeysuckle. Love the haiku of sunlight and fragrance Freya.

  4. Life on the edge of death reminds us to live. Beautifully written. I love how the prose part leads into the meditative haiku – just brilliant! Really sorry for the loss of your father.

  5. This beautifully written post struck me with a similar memory. The day my father died, I expected the world would pause in recognition–but it didn’t. The April sky was perfectly Seattle Blue and joyful (not respectful gray), and as I road home in the car with a friend driving the freeway, the other drivers were whizzing along, absorbed with the business of living….

  6. At nearly every passing I’ve been… blessed? … to witness (hospice worker for about two years) some scent, image — let’s say a gift has marked the moment. Your haibun is a wonderful part of the process of remembering.

  7. INterestingly.. perHaps A SinG
    of a glass half full human
    as compared to
    the opposite too..
    as experiencing
    the death of Loved
    ones can sink some
    folks down.. but in
    my case it only
    of life thaT as
    sweeter now..
    perhaps.. we all
    are a little too sanitizeD..
    not only from germs
    but literal
    in the
    of real that
    comeS in too..

    DArk DeATh
    BRinG taste oF liGht..:)

  8. That is a coincidence – my dad died in August five years ago – four days before my birthday. I remember how hot it was outside the hospital when we visited him the week before. I can feel the sadness in your haibun.

  9. This is beautiful. Your words carry depth here – the juxtapositioning of nature continuing, renewing itself even as you must endure the final passing of your father.

  10. I’m very sorry for your loss, Freya. It is very interesting how life continues on at full speed as other life slips away. You did a wonderful job of showing that contrast.

  11. I hope that your heart is filled with his happiness for having known you. My father passed on nearly 10-years ago, and I still feel the loss. A splendid haibun, Freya.

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