My mother passed away on Sunday 7th March.
Joseph and I were over in Leeds and had been out for the afternoon - the day was filthy, grey, cold, wet, and I felt a general malaise come over me. I thought that if I were to get a phone call to say Mum had passed away I would not be surprised.
We had just got back to the flat when the phone went and it was my sister in law ringing to tell me that Mum had died. She had been taken into hospital, not her usual hospital and for once without my sister in attendance, and she died when there. They did try to resuciate her - 86 years old, mute, and fed solely through a tube into her stomach! - but thankfully for her sake they did not succeed this time and she was allowed to go to her maker. Peace at last.
I did not know what to do. Whether to go and see my father or whether to stay in Leeds. I had not met my brothers or my brother in law, but nevertheless Joseph and I went over to Manchester to see my father. I was glad we went. There was nobody to sit with him, and hold his hands whilst he cried. Once the heavy mob (the Charedis) arrived, I began to feel uncomfortable. Nevertheless Joseph and I agreed to go and sit with Dad whilst the funeral was held in Leeds the following morning and so we arrived home at about midnight and set off back to Manchester at 8.15 in the snow and got to Dad's house for about 11.
Mum's coffin arrived at around midday. A tribe of bearded men arrived to speak over Mum's coffin then it began its journey back over the Pennines and I stayed with Dad along with my sister in law, Sara Babad (my maiden name ironically!) - who I thought - thought - was friendly. Then the men and my sister arrived back and we took Dad to my sister in laws house. We were obviously in the way although I didn;t pick up any bad vibes and neither did Joseph. My brother Yossi Babad was there as was my brother David, and all Yossi's lovely children. I was pleased to at least have seen them - even once in my life.
On Tuesday I had a phone call from my brother in law Jonathon Miller. He said and this is what he said exacly:
"I have been asked to tell you three things. One, can you see your father tomorrow, two, we would prefer it if you didn;t go to your brother;s house for shiva (the jewish mourning) as their feelings are too intense (intense??) and three, can you go and see your father next week." I put the phone down on him.
Joseph rang him back and gave him a piece of his mind. We were going back across the Pennines on the Wednesday so we did go and see my father. Miller was there and I asked for a word with him. He started to back out of the kitchen saying he was busy and then lost his temper and said he didnt want to talk to me as it wasn;t the time or place so I followed him out and told him what I thought of him and left him talking to himself. He was agressive rude and started pointing and stabbing his finger at me and I wonder what he is like as a headmaster or teacher. And I hate the idea that he is a member of the school that tells other Jews who is and isn;t a kosher enough Jew to have a child at the JFS.
I haven;t heard from anyone since and I really do not want to get in touch with any of my so called family member ever again as they are just trouble to my emotions. I have felt ill since. Can't get a grip on anything at all. And I just feel worthless which isn;t true. I think I will make a start on writing my memoirs and I have held back on writing and getting them published for fear of hurting members of my family. If I had told the police about my childhood, my dad would have had the other kids taken away, and he would never have seen his grandchildren. Now I wish I had told. I wish I had had my day in court and destroyed the whole lot of them.
I wanted to mourn my mother. To mourn the years I lost with her. To mourn the loss of the grandmother to my children. To mourn the fact she didn;t really take care of me as a child. But instead the grief has been turned to anger and that isn;t fair.
I wish I could turn the clock back. I would just not have bothered finding my mum and dad. I could have wondered but wouldn;t have been so hurt. I just don;t know what to do now.
I need to grieve. I need to do the mourning. And I need some quiet and peace and allow time to just sort it all out.
I don;t know what else to write about this. I feel so old. I never felt my age until this year. I feel all of 58 now and time is slipping by.