Yesterday I went to the funeral of a childhood neighbor and friend. Beth Fendell grew up next to next to me with her sister Pam. Pam and I close in age, and Beth in the same grade as my brother Lenny. The four of us grew up on McEvoy Road in Edison playing house, school, tag, and sharing in each others birthday parties, bar and bat mitzvahs and graduations. The little Beth Mae Fendell that I knew with golden curls and chubby cheeks with dimples grew into a loving, caring wife and mother. Beth died suddenly of a brain aneurysm over the weekend at the age of 46.

Friends and family came from all over to pay their respects to Beth and her grieving family. The 90 something year old rabbi who had married Beth and Andy years before led the service. It was probably one of the most memorable services I have ever been to. Beth’s sister, and my friend Pam led the long list of those who eulogized this beautiful person and loving soul, and at the beginning and end the rabbi spoke of the Kabbalistic teachings of love and life and loss all being part of our human experience. He reminded us that our souls live on beyond the house/ the shell/ the body. He asked all those who are not related to family to raise our right hands and bless the family as he recited a blessing for strength and healing. The Rabbi also shared with us the words of his Kabbalistic teacher that the word ALIVE holds the lessons for how we are to live THIS life:

A- awareness. Live each moment with awareness and presence.
L – love. unconditional love, give it, live it.
I- inspiring. Be inspiring to others with your thoughts and actions
V- victorious. Be victorious over negativity. Your thoughts become your reality. Do not give time or energy to negative thoughts.
E- excitement. Be excited about everything you do…. your job, your actions, what ever it is.

thoughts to live by, so that when it is our time to pass on, we will have touched so many as Beth Fendell did, indeed.

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