In memory of my best friend, Jane ז”ל

My best friend Jane ז”ל passed away last night. I can honestly say it was an honour and a privilege to be with her almost until her final moments, and yet it was the most traumatic thing I have ever faced in my (admittedly sheltered) life.  Today her funeral took place, attended by her family and by hundreds of friends.

I didn’t know I had so many tears in my eyes, and the yet store does not run dry. I thought about writing about Jane but I cannot find the words at the moment.

One of the remarks made by our Rabbi in his eulogy at the funeral was that the verse in the Eshet Chayil (“A Woman of Valour”) song, from משלי ל”א (Proverbs 31:25) sung by husbands to their wives on Friday night, could have been written with Jane in mind.

עז והדר לבושה ותשחק ליום אחרון

She is clothed in strength and glory, and she smiles until the last day.

Indeed Jane was smiling and loving until her last minutes, inquiring of her many visitors how their families are, sending her love to friends’ children and families, almost literally laughing and smiling until the last day.  She never complained about her lot despite all the hardships that she suffered, always had a willing ear and a caring hand for those in difficulty, and yet took great delight in other people’s celebrations, never begrudging their happiness.

The entire poem of Eshet Chayil could have been written for Jane, but those words quoted above stand out.

Here is a song whose simple and beautiful words were written by Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel and the inspiration for the religious Zionist movement.

כשהנשמה מאירה – גם שמים עוטי ערפל מפיקים אור נעים.”

When the soul lights the way – even the heavens enveloped in mist give forth a pleasant light.

May the pure soul of Jane z”l light up the heavens so that they shine upon the whole world.

We will all miss Jane’s creativity, her spirit of volunteerism and selflessness, her faith in Hashem and her marvellous sense of humour.

I am simply going to miss my “older sister”, my best friend.

יהי זכרה ברוך. ברוך דיין אמת

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19 Responses to In memory of my best friend, Jane ז”ל

  1. jill sevelow says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful neshama.

  2. Joseph says:

    My sympathy goes to you!

  3. cba says:

    ברוך דיין אמת
    Your beautiful words of tribute have moved me to tears. May her memory sustain you in the coming days, and beautify your life in the coming years.

  4. Shelley Bloom says:

    I feel for you, my best friend and “big sister” died 16 years ago at the age of 48 and I still miss her every day – can’t believe she is not here to share all our smachot.

  5. Elchanan Eric Sussman says:

    Last night on my way back from work I dropped in to see Keith, he was very pleased to see me. I intend to see a lot of him the next few months, P.G. I hope that I’ll be able to help him get over the difficult period that now lies in front of him. My experience has shown me that so much rests in the hands of close friends, for which you know how thankful I’m to mine.

    Better news next time

    Elch.

    • anneinpt says:

      Elch, I’m sure you will be able to help Keith with your own sadly acquired experience. May we all have the strength to continue to support one another.

  6. Judy says:

    always smiling, I learnt from her never to complain. Thank you for sharing your thoughts

  7. RRW says:

    what a loss – am very upset. When I came on aliya, she always looked out for me – we compared stories of our cats and got on like a house on fire. Though I hadn’t been in contact with her and Kieth in recent years, I feel this great loss and shed a tear or two.
    יהי זכרה ברוך. ברוך דיין אמת

    • anneinpt says:

      You’ve brought back so many memories RRW! I had forgotten about how Jane was always concerned about you in the early days. That’s how she was, always worrying about other people.

      Yes, a huge loss to all of us.

  8. Sorry to hear of your loss! Baruch dayan emet.

  9. Reality says:

    Anne you have put into words all our feelings. Jane was such a lovely lady and wonderful friend to us all especially to you.
    ברוך דיין אמת
    May her family be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion.
    We her friends will cherish memories of her laughter and giggles and all those wonderful moments we shared. Anne, you spent many hours of fun,laughter, gym -time together. Cherish those memories and you will always think of her smiling face.
    יהי זכרה ברוך

    • anneinpt says:

      Thanks for those reminders of the good times we had. I can still hear Jane’s chuckle in my ear at times. Those memories are a great comfort to me and to all of us friends.

  10. peteca1 says:

    very sorry to hear this … my prayers are with you and with her family. but I am sure she truly valued every moment she spent with you. The tears of a best friend are a true mark of love. Hugs to you Anne, Pete

  11. anneinpt says:

    To everyone to whom I haven’t replied personally, thank you so much for your kind words. They all help to ease the rawness and the pain.

    May we all be able to celebrate only happy events from now on.

  12. Earl says:

    My condolences on your loss, anne. RIP, Jane.

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