On the morning before erev Rosh HaShanah, the night before the Jewish New Year, my mother Lynn drew her final breath. I wasn’t in the ICU beside her because of my compromised immune system and Covid-19. My sister held up her phone so through FaceTime I could say my last words to her and see her neshamah (soul) leave the earth.

Her funeral was on a brilliant sunshine-filled Sunday afternoon in a small Jewish cemetery surrounded by the greenest hills of trees in Central Pennsylvania, where she had lived for the last forty-two of her eighty years. It was excruciating to be to be so physically near my Dad…