Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Goodbye My Friend

Yesterday a close friend passed away after battling cancer for many years. Rebecca would have been 44 years old today and leaves behind a wonderful family who, however you try and positively frame it, have been denied an amazing, kind and loving mother and wife.

Last week, she lay in bed struggling to try and work out how to help my family what with my wife being away. That sums up who she was. When I came to the US, it was clear to her that I, and later my family, would live with them, until we found our feet, even though she didn’t know us very well (her husband and I go back 30 years and he and my wife are good friends).

I don’t really know what to say. There was no surprise and we have all been preparing for this for a long time. Except that you cannot prepare and right now it is just a colossal numb feeling.

No political blog today. It was supposed to be something more serious about the London Riots, but that can wait for tomorrow. This was a song that meant a lot to me back in the ’70’s when a friend’s parent passed away.

This is for you, Rebecca. You left behind a lot of friends who love you and love your family. We will help them all we can.


Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).

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3 thoughts on “Goodbye My Friend

  1. Alon – I hope that the memories of your friendship will bring you peace. Great song choice. I’m very sorry for the loss of Rebecca, but what a wonderful legacy she seems to have left. Even when we’re prepared for such a thing, we’re still not… ever. ((sigh))

  2. Lee Safran on said:

    Hi Alon,

    I am so sorry for your loss. Clearly, Rebecca had a generosity of spirit that touched many and it is inspiring to hear about her

    I hadn’t seen your blog before. I look forward to reading it.

  3. Thank you both for your kind words.


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