Yesterday in Colorado my daughter Nikki, her boyfriend Pro and their friends held a memorial service for a young man named Nolus. She wrote: “Nolus went missing several days ago during a dirt biking trip in the desert. His body was found this evening atop a mountain he’d dragged his broken leg up, under a tree, with his tee shirt rolled underneath his head and his hand on his heart.” Not much more to say, other than to offer a prayer. Here’s what I wrote a couple of hours ago. It’s raw and unedited. I welcome suggestions. Optional phrases and lines for customizing the prayer appear in [brackets]. Gender selections are identified with a slash (“his/her”).
For Those Who Die Young
G-d of secrets,
G-d of my heart,
Source and shelter,
Grant a perfect rest under your tabernacle of peace
To ______________________ (name),
My [father / mother / sister / brother / child / wife / dear one/ friend]
Whose life was cut off too soon,
[In his/her prime / just a child / before we were ready],
[Without warning / after a battle with deadly disease / after a tragic accident].
[We thought we had so much more time.]
[We saw this coming, yet this loss still cuts deep.]
Help us to remember his / her wisdom, talents and skills,
The joy, laughter and tears,
And our moments together.
Let these memories continue to bless us
Even as we pray for him / her to find peace
In the world to come.
May his / her soul be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.
© 2013 Alden Solovy and http://www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.
Postscript: Here’s a related prayer “At the Hand of Violence,” which I wrote after my daughter Dana faced the murder of a friend. Here are links to two additional prayers: “For Bereaved Children” and “After Shiva,” as well as a link to more yizkor and memorial prayers.
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Photo Source: Alden Solovy