I’m in a room full of people. I recognize some of them–a lot of them actually. I also don’t recognize a lot of them. Some of them are dressed well, and some of them are in t-shirts and jeans. In front of us a man is talking about a man who died two months ago. He says something about the next generation. Our children. I turn and look at a baby in a stroller. His eyes are open and he’s staring up. He’s making a face, like he’s deciding whether to cry or not.
In my mind, the dead man is a distant cousin and the baby my nephew. I put my arm around the person next to me, the one I call my rabbi. This is my Boston family: the baby’s mother and his father. The one on the floor, resting her head on my rabbi’s leg. People standing and sitting behind us. Two men sitting at the front of the crowd with the parents and brother of one of them. A man on a screen, a video playing from Germany talking about the man who is my distant cousin and his close cousin.
This is my family and they’ve lost someone and not knowing what else to do, I cry.