June 09, 2008

Remembering Rabbi Charisse Kranes z"l


It was 19 years ago today that I got the call: my dear friend Charisse had died of complications relating to her uterine cancer. She was 32.

I remember I had called Charisse's home and spoke with her husband, who told me that she was back in the hospital. I immediately called her there and was fortunate enough to be able to tell her how much I loved her. We had a teary conversation which I didn't even realize was our last. A few days later, on erev Shavu'ot , my roommate and I had just finished the holiday meal when the phone rang with somone calling to say that Charisse had died.

So every year on the eve of Shavu'ot I remember Charisse by lighting a yahrzeit candle. I go to synagogue for the Yizkor service so that I can recite kaddish for her. Charisse was married but did not have children. By saying kaddish for her, by talking about our friendship, I help keep her memory alive.

I miss you still, my dearest friend.

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I dance with cancer. Oy!