(A tribute dedicated by Irene Nurieli in Amalia’s memory – 02/10/04. Amalia, Z”LB, was Irene’s close friend.)
When I came to say good bye to you my dear friend, my beautiful withered flower, I looked at your face and saw that to our disgrace life had taken an unexpected turn for us all. I saw the shadow of death upon your cheeks quickly taking its toll, a horrible beast throwing its ugly daggers and thorns, beating into the ground its ugly lifeless path, suffocating and forcing you to perish into nothingness.
You came into my life seven years ago on the day that I was giving birth to my youngest child, looking for good friends for your children, as you were always a doting and devoted wife and mother, never expecting to hit such a strong bond that you and I shared. They say that everything happens for a reason, and through our children, who also found each other and connected, we found a long and powerful connection for ourselves and renewed it, as we knew each other in the past. I loved you deeply and with all my heart.
Like the golden crown of your hair and your glowing skin, you were our golden princess, our delicate porcelain doll. You were so perfect inside and out that at times it seemed that you were not real. Your youthful spirit and laughter were as pure and joyous, as the morning’s sun or the rushing waters of the waterfall, but you needed not let people know that you were there, as you had inexplicable presence. Always calm, pleasant and smiling, you would walk into a room and the whole place would light up with your holy aura, giving it a feeling of aristocracy and royalty. You didn’t need glamour, jewelry or fancy clothes to make you shine. A gleam or ray of light would fall and find you no matter how hard you tried to hide from it or make yourself unnoticed.
Oh, how wonderful you were! You could find beauty in the simplest things. You could make any food, candies, ice cream, etc…, seem unique and special. You always knew what to say and how to put a person at ease by saying the right thing, never having to use too many words to do so. Your thoughts were always well balanced, consistent with Libra, your astrological sign. You spent more time listening and less time talking which is way more important.
You were a special soul living in a beautiful body – picture perfect inside and out. People need to learn from you and live life with you as their model. A person who had everything, always keeping a low profile, a pure definition of modesty is what you were and still are. You made everyone around you no matter their age, race, size, finances or background feel equal to you.
You lived with everyone and everything around you in total harmony. How you loved nature, sunshine, flowers, music, poetry or simply curling up with a good book which you could finish in a day. You found good in everything that came in your path. You would befriend birds and kittens, and anything that would happen into your beautiful garden, which you loved so much and where you could make anything come into bloom and blossom with your gentle touch. They knew that yours was always a warm home to come to, where one can get food, shelter, words as pure as your soul, and most of all love. You were a perfect wife, mother, daughter, sister and friend – a true definition of what woman of Valor really is.
We will never forget how you never wasted words, spoke needlessly or out of place. Instead what ever was uttered from your beautiful lips, was a song of a nightingale. You always found an answer for everything, always there to lend a helping comforting hand, ready to encourage, inspire or solve a problem. And solving problems was one of your special gifts among so many others and, therefore, you were needed to help in bigger things, as your job among us, although short, was complete and it was time to find answers up in heaven.
You were sent to us as a token and an example of what a true human being should be and follow after. And although our connection with you was short lived, and may seem only but a moment, we were lucky to know you. You were unique and above us all. G-d took you up to heaven as he needed your help in his judgments and your beautiful words of wisdom, pure as a brook filled with fresh spring water or ringing bells.
Although your life’s path took you early from of us, you are still an angel within us. We will forever feel your warm breath, soothing as a mid-summer’s breeze and your wide warm wings upon us, still comforting us long after you are gone.
As I stood there choked and heartbroken in the room next to your death bed watching you take your last breaths of air and your life being extinguished, I tried desperately to find the brightness of your beautiful big blue eyes, which were always so promising, hopeful and full of spunk. I looked for your golden curls, but could not find them either. I could not comprehend this life’s slice of fate. I remember thinking that this must be some kind of a mistake, or a crazy dream or that I was put on a set of a horror movie, and then I realized that this is real and there’s a lesson to be learned from this. You smiled at me with your lost eyes and heaved heavily and needed not to say a word, as you knew that I knew you well. You needed not to say good-bye either, as you knew that someday our paths would cross and we would see each other again.
And although you seemed like a young bird who got trapped in a cage, and looked so undernourished, confused and frightened, your eyes sunken and without color, sad and questioning, even in your last moments of breath, you were still our righteous “Mali”. Even in your deepest pain with all your strength gone, you suffered quietly and silently, only letting out little sighs, not wanting to let us know how much it really hurt, so that you would not burden us or add to our grief. You found faith making yourself strong and putting everyone’s feelings and emotions before yours, giving us hope, trying to put everyone’s mind at ease.
For a moment it seemed like a beast had won a battle with beauty by destroying your inner organs or outside appearance, but before leaving, you let us know that you were content and tired and knew that it was time to go and you were ready for it, going whole heartedly. You knew that here your task was complete and you were unique until the last moment.
At the end of your life’s path, your body took on the form of unrecognizable person, someone far removed from our angelic Amalia’s face. In that there was also a purpose and a reason. We need to know that life is fragile, given to us as a gift to be cherished every moment and it can be altered and taken away as quickly as it is given.
It was also to let us know that a human body can take on many different masks and disguises, but your soul will forever remain beautiful and pure as absolutely nothing can mar or soil it. What lives forever is our soul, our body form comes and goes. What is sad is that we spend too much time worrying about our looks, constantly trying to make ourselves more attractive. The truth is that this is vain, if only we spent as much time lifting our souls, as we do lifting our faces or thighs, then that alone would make this world a better place.
You were sent to us as a message calling to let us know that we all need to stop and look around and truly rethink our life and the reasons that we are all visiting here. We need to remember and work hard to cherish and love each other, and never take life for granted. You taught us that we need to develop patience and understanding for each other. We need to evolve as better people by seeking truth and honesty and adhere to it completely. Life is precious and alone is a miracle. We must savor every moment. We are worthless without G-d and each other.
You left us quietly, contently and not in vain. You have healed and are at peace now, your pain and suffering have finally ended, and that alone is a blessing and a relief to us all. As we kissed the coffin containing the human evidence that you were among us here on earth, so that we could part and say good-bye, we could feel your spirit hovering over us, as you had promised to let go only of your physical being and keep your spirit around us for all eternity.
As we grieve, we go through waves and stages. We question our loyalty and faith, as we hit a wall full of unanswered questions. We try to compromise, and hit depression crying, blaming and punishing ourselves until, through devastation, we finally accept reality. Time heals all wounds and life will go on, but the world will never be the same without you Mali, as you and the richness that you added to us cannot be replaced. You will be truly missed, but your memory of your inner and outer beauty will dwell in us forever and you will never be forgotten. Your legacy will go on in your children, their children and so on. We will hold vigil and you will forever live in our hearts. Your presence is still and will always be felt.
Shalom, our beloved Amalia.
Yours truly, Irene Nurieli (I.N.)