On February 16th 2009, my father died and my life changed forever.
Literally as I was finishing off a big JobMob article for you just after midnight on February 17th Israel time, my cellphone rang. On the other end, my older sister was calling from Montreal. When I asked why she wasn't calling on the land line, my mother came on to say that my father had a major heart attack and was gone. Just like that.
Although my father had been watching his blood pressure for quite some time, no one expected this. He was still playing fast-paced racquetball 2-3 times a week right up until before he died. We later found out that he had been showing some symptoms but that they'd all resembled his asthma or other health hiccups in the life of a 63 year old.
As I told my sister after my mother had gotten off the phone, I was hearing what they were telling me and I knew they would never joke about something so serious, but I couldn't believe it.
I still can't believe it, and that was almost a month ago.
As a family, we're just now getting over the shock. If you've never been in shock like this – which I hope, for your sake – it's the human equivalent of a computer freeze-up where you keep clicking on your mouse but nothing is happening on the screen. Likewise, it seems like I'll be able to email or Skype my father later when his status changes to ‘online' and he'll still respond.
The shock never completely goes away. This weekend I spoke with someone who lost his own father exactly 18 years ago. “Feels like it was yesterday,” he said. I'm sure I'll feel the same way 18 years from now.
A new beginning
The traditional Jewish mourning period is called shiva which literally means ‘seven' in Hebrew, referring to the initial 7 days after burial of the deceased. Shiva exists in part to let people console the mourners by visiting them at one central location which in this case was my parents' apartment in a Montreal suburb.
On February 18th, my brother and I flew to Montreal to arrive in time for the funeral and shiva. My mother initially tried to convince me to stay behind with my wife who was 9 months' pregnant, but the choice was clear for us and my wife's sister and mother flew in from Paris to help while I was away.
5 days later, my second son and 4th child was born in perfect health, thank G-d. This led to the unreal situation where visitors to the shiva house were offering their condolences and congratulations at the same time (“Sorry… but mazel tov!”).
After waiting 8 days before his bris (ritual circumcision), which also gave me enough time to come back to Israel after shiva had ended in Montreal, Noah Tzvi Share was named for my father Harvey Share whose Hebrew name was Tzvi.
May Noah live a long, healthy life while embodying all the incredible values of my father's legacy.
It's good to be back
So now you know where I've been for the past month, the longest period by far that JobMob has gone without updates since the site started back in 2006. My father was more than an inspiration in the creation of this site for you and he will remain so, and I'm looking forward to getting back on track with all the ideas and projects I have coming to help you during these tough times and beyond.
I hope to hear more from you, and if you'd like to send along your condolences and congratulations in the comments below, I'd appreciate it very much.