Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Help me tell his Mum

Lila told me his mum is worried that people have forgotten about him bcs they don't mention him much anymore. I know why, I'm guilty of doing it. When my friend Steffen killed himself (he was 18) it didn't arise bcs I spent loads of time at his parents' with a girfriend who'd known him really well and all we did was talk abt him and try to understand why. I'm guilty of doing it when Yanniv, a good friend of Uzi from the kibbutz, died in a motorcycle accident. I didn't want to cause his mother further pain. And then one day I realised how abysmally stupid that was, she'd already lost pretty much all there was to loose, my talking abt couldn't possibly hurt her. On the contrary. And I was right and have been talking to her abt him and everything ever since.

I wrote abt what you should and shouldn't do when someone loses someone or facing that possibility, and I mention wanting people to remember him. I blog mostly bcs I can't help myself, I cannot not write abt him, I need to do it for my sanity. I also do it bcs I can't talk to his family (still guilty of the same, I know, and if I am at a loss of what to say to her and Z, I can only imagine how the others feel). If I hand't discovered the blogosphere I'd be writing for my laptop, but I'd be writing. That is how I make the world recede. But the blogosphere is far more gratifying, in ways I never dreamt possible, bcs there is feedback you see.

I have said this before, I'll say it again: your comments have been the thing keeping me afloat at times and I cannot thank you enough. Many, many times. Not bcs I don't have my support network here whom I can call at 4 am if I need to, I do have it. But you are strangers in the computer, most of you, I don't even know what most of you look like, your real names at times. And yet you care, and you show me you care, and by commenting you have assured me that he will be remembered further than I ever thought possible, you tell me you wish you could have met him - do you know how much this means to me?

Lila will give her mum my URL so she can pass it on. Please, PLEASE, help me do this for her. Comment for her. Even if you usually email me abt it, please leave a comment this time, TELL HER. If you know me personally and usually only talk to me abt it, this is for her, TELL HER. If you are my friend and met him and only talk to me abt it, TELL HER. If you've never met him or me it doesn't matter, not if you think you will remember him in any way, TELL HER, if my posts abt him have touched you in some way, TELL HER. Do it anonymously if you want, do it repeatedly, if you feel your English is not good enough do it in German, in French, in Spanish, in Italian, in Portuguese, even in Dutch, I will translate it, just TELL HER. I know it's asking a lot, I'd be horrified at the prospect of talking directly to the mother. But seriously, you CANNOT hurt her. She has lost her son already, now she has the extra heartache of thinking people will forget abt him. You do have the power to tell her it is not so. TELL HER. You may also feel you have no right words, nothing you can say will help. This is not true. Sometimes on other blogs all I can write is "I'm sorry" bcs it's too sad and I don't know the person well and I feel absolutely inadequate. But I have been on the receiving end and not only has a comment never hurt or feel inadequate but also EVERY LITTLE THING HELPS, if for only a few seconds at times. IT HELPS. Please believe me. Help me do this for her, this is all I can do. Today is Yom haZikaron, Memorial Day. TELL HER. I'll go first:

Iris, it's Johnny in Portugal, and you know I will never forget. And one day, one day I will write a book about him. This is my promise.



At 11/5/05 12:22, Blogger Jen P said...

Iris, from what we've been told, Uzi was a comedic genius, a loyal friend, a brilliant man and an honest and wonderful person. We've all shared in the loss of this magnifiscent being and we are all saddened. But your son will live on, every single day, and with every single breath we take because he has changed us all profoundly, even if we never got to meet him, hear his jokes or see his smiles.

We know of him through our dear frind J here and I know we all wish we could bring him back. I'm sorry for your loss. It is terrible and cruel and there is no justice in his loss.

But he will live on, I promise. Best wishes to you.

At 11/5/05 14:28, Blogger Lorem ipsum said...

Shalom Iris -

Your son is not forgotten. Even though his body no longer dwells on this earth, his memory has been magnified through the stories he told and those that have been retold through his best friend, Johnny.

Once someone is remembered, he cannot be un-remembered. He is forever alive! Despite the shocking circumstances of his death, that is a minor event in the great scope of the joy he brought those he loved in his lifetime.

You are always a mother. Your son was there.

At 11/5/05 14:32, Blogger 4 leaf clover said...

Hey Lioness,
I regret to say that I do not know Uzi. Why regret? Because from what I've read, he sounds like a wonderful person and regret not being able to know him. I'm sorry for your loss and saddened by the unfairness of this world. But my thoughts also dwell on this: wonderful people will always be remembered by people who love them, and the people who love them will tell other people. I remember Uzi because you remember him and because you talk about him, write about him.

At 11/5/05 14:52, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Iris - Ani haiti mitnadevit ba kibbutz ben ha'shanim 1993 - 1996. V'az aliti v'garti ba jerusalem ve ba tel aviv. Ani zocheret uzi - ani zocheret musica v'sichot ba'chutz. v'ani zocheret et ha'sa'ar shelo. who ha'ya maxsim. v'ani maod mitztaret.



At 11/5/05 15:37, Blogger Ana said...

Iris, I did not know Uzi but I can tell you that I will never forget him, his story, his face I came to know through the pictures Johnny showed us, the emotions we all went through from the time Johnny told us he was missing until the tears I've cried when I read this post.
I'm so sorry. I know nothing can erase your pain. But I promise he will not be forgotten.


At 11/5/05 15:45, Anonymous Ed said...

Iris, Uzi will live on through the wonderful memories that J has shared with us.

He will not be forgotten in this corner of the UK.

At 11/5/05 16:27, Blogger Noorster said...

Shalom Iris,
I haven't always been able to leave comments on J's painfully beautiful posts about Uzi, but I realise how important it is now and I'll try.
Your son was - as others have said it before me - a brilliant person. I will always be sorry that I never had the chance to meet him - in fact, there are times I feel downright robbed.
The tsunami of 2004 will forever be intertwined in my memory with his untimely death. I will always remember it as a terrible personal loss. I will never forget your son.

At 11/5/05 16:28, Blogger Diana said...

Dear Iris,

I understand what it is like to lose your very best friend. Mine was killed in a car crash 17 years ago at the age of 22. I used to get so angry with people who knew her and didn't talk to me about her after her death, quickly changing the subject if I brought it up. I now realize that they havn't forgotten her, they either didn't want to cause me pain or didn't want to deal with my involuntary tears (here come the tears, again, as I write). Please believe that he will live on, not just in the memory of those who were blessed to know him, but those of us who are getting to know him through Johnny and others. He will not ever be forgotten. We promise.

At 11/5/05 19:03, Blogger brooksba said...


I am so sorry for your loss. Johnny has shared so many stories of Uzi that have brought him into my heart. I will not forget him. He was a wonderful person.


At 11/5/05 19:35, Blogger cat said...

Iris -

Your son is not forgotten, he will be forever because his friends and you will never allow him to fade.

I never met your son yet he will live on in my memories due to this blog. He will remain always your loving, funny, wonderful son.

At 11/5/05 19:36, Blogger Sk8RN said...


I am so sorry for your loss. They say there is no loss greater than losing a child. I hope fond memories of him warm your heart in your darkest times.

At 11/5/05 19:37, Blogger Nurse Mia said...

Iris, your son sounds like he was an amazing man. What a loss for us all. I hope holding onto your love for your son brings you peace.

With sympathy,

At 11/5/05 19:49, Blogger paulmonster said...

Dear Iris--

It is an honor to remember your son, always. Everything changes, but nothing is truly lost.

Peace and Comfort to you and yours,


At 11/5/05 20:54, Blogger Udge said...

Dear Iris,

I have been reading J's heartrending posts, and wish that I had known Uzi. My heart goes out to you in your sorrow. I wish I could say more, but I cannot find the words. He is remembered.

At 11/5/05 21:05, Blogger Eliyahu said...

Iris, your son Uzi, talented, strong, funny, will live in our memory forever! Uzi is known throughout the globe because of the passionate Lioness, Johnny, his friend.! May you be comforted by your memories, and may your days and nights be easier knowing that we will remember Uzi. Shalom, and blessings, Eliyahu

At 11/5/05 21:16, Anonymous Nikki said...

Uzi is with us-we didn't know him, but we are touched by him through Johnny. Thank you for raising such a wonderful man - and I am very sorry that he is gone. I know that I'll think of him when I see butterflies now. Deepest sympathy, Nikki

At 11/5/05 21:53, Blogger CarpeDM said...


I just wanted to let you know that I will never forget Uzi. I never met him, I only know him through what Johnny has shared on her blog and told us about him when we visited her in Portugal.

Because of Johnny's words and Uzi's, when she quotes him, I have learned to love him for who he is. I can't say for who he was because, in my mind, I know that he is still with us, we just can't see him.

Uzi will never be forgotten. He has touched all of our lives.


At 11/5/05 22:28, Blogger Savtadotty said...

Uzi is in my heart. I came to the kibbutz to see Johnny after the funeral, and I saw where he lived. His life was too short, but it had so much meaning for so many people, and that meaning still grows every day. Please remember how blessed you are to have brought him into the world for us. He will not be forgotten.

At 11/5/05 23:52, Blogger M said...

After what we've all read, how could any of us forget him? We won't because we can't.

At 12/5/05 00:10, Blogger Dale said...

You know, in a way Johnny's posts directly about Uzi are the least of it -- they just reveal the source of what was already there. He clearly resonates through her in dozens of ways -- much of what we love in her is him. And I'm sure much of that, again, is you. And now again that comes through me, and through everyone else here.

I know, it's not the "living on" the heart desires, but it's real, it's important, and it will travel on through all of us. Even if his name is lost at some point along the way -- the most important thing, that brightness (which I've only seen third-hand) -- that goes on. In some ways maybe clearer the further it goes. To you and Johnny it can only be overwhelming grief. But to us it's a beautiful thing, this manifestation of love, even if it's sad and distressing -- Johnny has kept apologizing for spilling her grief here, but I have felt from the start that it was a huge gift to us.

Names die, of course -- all of our names will die. But I don't think the brightness ever dies. It didn't come from the names in the first place, anyway.

Much love to you. Back to you, I might say.

At 12/5/05 01:20, Blogger SonSon said...

I didn't know Uzi. In fact, this is the first time I've been on this site. I do know about horrible loss. I lost my brother recently to pancreatic cancer. He was 38 and had a 2 year old daughter. He was so well liked and the visitation went on well into the night. People waited for over 3 hours to pay their respects. Afterwards though, it was hard to watch people go on with their lives. He touched many lives but they didn't feel the loss of him every day the way I did.

I don't know what the answer is. Know though that you are not alone. I find comfort by participating in things in his memory. It keeps his memory alive for me. My best wishes for you.

At 12/5/05 08:42, Blogger MeadowSpring said...

Iris, I too have only been on this site a few times. I am so very sorry for your loss.
I loss my father a few months back to a very fast spreading cancer.

Your son will never be forgotten. I know for me, when I start talking about my dad, then it is easy for the other people to start talking too. I think, they are afraid of what to say.

My dad was the last with our family name. I feel bad cause I cannot have children to carry on the family line. I still dream about what I would name my children if I could have any. How there name would someone carry on his.

This spring we bought an apple tree to plant in memeory of my father. Each year in will produce fruit. Each year, my family and I will remeber the love and happy times spent with my dad, and a husband, and a great father in law, unlce and friends for many. And for generations to come, that tree will live on. And so will his memories.

At 12/5/05 15:17, Blogger Bubbi said...

I did not know your son but the light and love that came from his heart lives on through you and all that knew him.

"He is Always With You"

How much Love and happiness we shared!

I thank you for the love that lives on.
Be comforted by the trust that it is only for a while that we must part.
I wont be far--though you cant see or touch me--I wll be near. If you listen with your heart you will hear.

Someday we will meet again and I will be there to welcome you home.

At 12/5/05 18:56, Blogger Kristin said...

Iris...Uzi will never be forgotten. Simply knowing how important he was/is to our friend Johnny tells us what a fabulous person he was. Your son sounds like someone I would have enjoyed knowing and I am sorry I never got to know him.

At 12/5/05 20:34, Blogger Lala said...

Dear Iris: I believe I just told Johnny the other day that she brought Uzi to me without anything more than words. She is a precious resource for memories. As a mother, I can fathom the pain, all I have to do is close my eyes and imagine a world without my Jack. No mother should suffer that loss.
I live in Canada, our "Time Magazine" had Uzi's name in it. Half a world away I read it and gasped. I will never forget.

At 12/5/05 21:51, Blogger wessel said...

Dear Iris, I am just so sorry for the loss of your beautiful son. I did not know him, but he does not sound like the sort of man who will ever be forgotten.

"May you be comforted among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, and may you know no more sorrow."

At 13/5/05 12:07, Anonymous Anonymous said...


your son is remembered as a man who loved, and was loved deeply in return. he laughed, and he made others laugh. when i think of the senseless tragedy of the tsumani, it becomes overwhelming. then i think of your son's glorious, smiling face, and it becomes so personal.

bless you for having a son who left such an impact on those who unfortunately got to feel the sun of his smile on our faces.


At 13/5/05 23:22, Blogger The Humanity Critic said...

Iris, I am deeply sorry for your loss.

At 14/5/05 21:07, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Uzi was beautiful, inside and out.

My condolences.

Birch and Maple

At 17/5/05 17:00, Anonymous Leggy said...

Isn't amazing how you think you can be doing reasonably well/studying/feeling like you are getting yourself together and then something happens (you google his name and see something you'd never seen before) and its like a punch in the gut. It brings you right back to the worst of the worst of it- the day you found out, the funeral, etc.

But at the same time, it brings you closer to them and if you close your eyes, you can almost pretend that he's still here. You love what you found for bringing him closer to you, but hate it because it reminds you he's not here.

And that my dear, is called grief. Not as pretty as they make it look
in the movies, is it? (They give it a few tearful days right around the funeral, but then within a month or two, everyone is back to doing what they had been doing as if they aren't carrying this gaping hole in their chest). That was the part that got me most- that I didn't go back to being the old me, but I had to learn how to be me with this big gaping hole of grief in my chest.

I hope that both of you (Johnny & Iris) learn to laugh, have fun, enjoy, again and use that to envelop the permanent hole in your heart that has been left by Uzi's death.

At 24/5/05 06:04, Blogger mb said...

I'm a little late with this, but I wanted to say I'm so sorry for your loss. Getting to know Uzi through this blog has been one bright light in such a dark time. I will never forget him.


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