Friday, October 20, 2006

Baruch Dayan HaEmet - Miriam Engelberg 1958 - 2006

Baruch Dayan HaEmet is a phrase many Jews say upon hearing bad news, oftimes on the loss of a life. I say that today upon hearing of the death of Miriam Engelberg--a bright spirit--who lost her battle with breast cancer this week.

Miriam was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, just months before my diagnosis. I met her in the Kaiser support group. She was the one who most often put smiles on our faces in a time that was filled with lots of tears. She was a talented cartoonist who chronicled her cancer experiences in a book called "Cancer Made Me a Shallower Person."

Her observations on the process were so right on. You might say, "well duh, she was going through it." Yes, but that doesn't mean that we don't go through our own fantasies and denials, pushing away the realities of the situation. Miriam was able to express what so many of us felt from a place of humor. It helped to laugh through the darkness. One favorite of mine dealt with trying to figure out what she did to get the disease--"it must have been all the cheese," she concluded.

To see more of her comics, and/or order her book, click on the cartoon.
Zichrona L'vracha
May her memory be a blessing

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