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some words for Susan

Susan Tedmon Rosenfeld, Ki's mother.

A life to honor, as well. As Ki did, though they had their differences, some very dramatic.

Susan was born here in the USA, emigrated to Israel with her husband Tom when Ki was just a tiny infant. Bore him five more children. Settled in the Occupied Territories, West Bank, Efrata. Earned a teacher's license and taught school, younger kids; for all I know she is there doing that still...

From Ki we have the note that Susan had a difficult time (at least at the beginning), she had been an "alcoholic for my first seven years".

Susan's eldest daughter was interred at the very beginning of Passover 2008, not far from their home, in Cfar Etzion cemetery, Israel.

We've already had Passover 2016, eight years later. The years pale in comparison with the hole that's left in Susan's life. Which she will always carry. As will Tom. Then, and right now today, as you are reading this.

She wrote me at the time that "grief has a trajectory all its own." We did not meet when I was there in Fall 2008, but those words ring true, and always will.

Some in our Friends circle, our Memorial circle, were not mothers in 2008, and we are now. Hopefully none of us has had to start enduring this kind of loss, hopefully none of us will for a long time to come.

Why this is timely now is that sisters and mothers of children, who are no longer here with us, are among our extended family of athletes at the 2016 Olympic Rio Games (athletes who have talked about it... and their relatives, and they are among the public witnesses in the political arenas here in the USA with our national elections quickly coming.

Out of their deep love, Sue and Tom did everything they could figure out to help Ki, including taking her out of her IP at a psych hospital AMA, getting her private pdoc help, and creating the conditions in an alternative school which enabled Ki to excel in American College Board Exams and start college at Evergreen, on the other side of the world in Washington State, even though she had been a high school dropout.

Of course our loss is not the same as theirs, and can never be. But it is a parallel challenge not just to mourn but to follow the light onward. "Mourn, but let yourself get over it," Ki wrote in 2005, in what she thought then would be a final note ending her life (which it wasn't, yet.)

What I LiveJournaled in her original LJ on the day before burial was "and now... you are not alone any longer, you've dissolved yourself into light and peace and you are really here with us more than ever in a most special way. As someone else has said, you are having the adventure of your life."

Today is Sunday 14 August, the beginning of the 435th week of her new life. This coming October we will be celebrating the holidays of Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur, which in the Jewish tradition is the season we hope to be inscribed in The Book Of Life for the coming year.

Machaya Hamatim.

Which means, "life everlasting."



Ki doesn't count weeks like this anymore.

All times are the same time, now.

My prayers are that Susan will continue to find the light and peace she needs to live forward in the lives of the kids in her classes. Now and forever.

Finding peace and light.

As may we all.


i knew nothing about Ki's family except the tidbits occasionally mentioned on her lj, but this was moving. :]
This is a late thank-you, but I just read your comment. Appreciate your support! I'm with you, knew very little about her family also, but pieced together things I learned at the time and soon after. One of her alternative school's Directors told me, when I visited Israel in 2008, that Susan had been so very grateful about how Ki was so positively responding to her new learning environment that she wept as she came down the hill to deliver a chocolate cake with thanks.

Lachan is a residential school only a short walk away from home, but it helped Ki to live there instead of where she'd grown up.