Jay Snyder’s eulogy for Michal Friedman.

Via on Dec 6, 2011

We are honored to share this with you, via Michal’s family. May it be of benefit.

This eulogy from Jay to his love, his wife & the mother of his children—our friend Michal Friedman—comes only a week or so after Michal died, just hours after giving birth to two healthy beautiful twins. If so inspired, please let’s offer our strength and caring to Jay and the twins: donate in this time of need at thesnydertwins.com.

Please give.

Also, as you’ll read below, Jay (and the twins, eventually) will thank you to share a story of Michal, if you knew her, here (there’s already 60 stories, or so, that those who did and didn’t know her will delight in). ~ ed.

~

Eulogy to Michal from her husband Jay.

~

There are no words. I have heard that phrase many times over the past few days from people earnestly trying to find some way of offering consolation and condolence. It’s true, no words can adequately describe the depth and magnitude of this loss, and no words can soften the pain and shock, or brutal unfairness. In a way it’s unfathomable. How can we speak to what we cannot understand? But we gather today not only because of what happened, but whom it happened to. Michal Lura Friedman. And there are many words for Michal.

Vibrant, Gifted, Generous, Kind, Fiery, Bold, Tenacious, Beautiful, Smart, Loyal, Honest, Strong, Singer, Song writer, Actor, Narrator, Colleague, Student, Friend, Cousin, Sister, Aunt, Niece, Daughter, Wife, and most important, most precious…Mother.

Over 9 years ago, around my second date with Michal the Girl she said “I want to get Married and have kids.” Years later she told me she had been deliberately blunt to see if it would scare me off. Fortunately, I knew better than to run from someone like Michal. Her clarity and directness were some of the many qualities I admired.

We actually tried to start making babies before getting married. Like most people, we started trying by stopping trying not to. But after almost a year without success, we realized we had to journey down a different path to have the children we wanted.  It took over 5 years of resorting to various fertility treatments, from herbal teas to multiple IVFs before we finally found our way to Reverie and Jackson.

Few of us have the strength and determination to suffer through so much disappointment and despair, or the courage to defy so much defeat to achieve our dream. Reverie means to dream, to pleasantly day dream. That name actually came to Michal in a dream where she met her daughter, who introduced herself by that name. Michal was 19 then…25 years later that dream is real. I like to think of Jackson as a bonus prize for perseverance.

There are no words for other things, too. Like the love Michal gave me. Immense, pure, intoxicating, incessant, playful…those kind of come close. I have never been given so much love, so generously, so eagerly. She gave me a pocket watch for one of my birthdays. Engraved on it…”I love you all the time.” I can still feel it, as strongly as I can feel the love for Michal from everyone here.

There are also no words for the beauty of the children she bore. Less than a week old, they’ve touched many people’s hearts, and they’ve only just begun. Neither can any words describe the outpouring of sympathy, love, and support that so many are offering me, and the children. Some from people who knew Michal and I well, others that didn’t know us at all, but who simply want provide some compassion to help ease the devastation from a viscous twist of fate. And the words “Thank you” do not begin to express how grateful I am for it.

Everyone asks me what can they do to help, and I’m often at a loss, not yet knowing what my family’s needs are. But one thing became clear a couple days ago. Sunday I held Jack and Rev to my chest and told them the story of how Michal and I met. The next day I intended to tell them another story about us, but realized our story mostly consists of the un-extraordinary routine of life only made special by feeling fortunate to do it together. For instance “Once upon a time Daddy came home from work and Michal said, “How about some Thai Food?” And that night Thai food was eaten…but it was really cool because we loved each other!” or “There came a day when Mommy and I saw the movie “Due Date”, which wasn’t that good…but it was an awesome time because we both felt we hit the marriage jackpot!”

So many of you have helped our family with such profound generosity and sincerity. But perhaps one of the most meaningful gifts to Michal’s and my children would be telling me your stories of Michal so I can share them with our kids, that she gave everything to have. They’ll know her through her music, which I play them, her voice work, her pictures and videos, which I will also share. But I realized Michal gave us all wonderful stories to give to Reverie and Jackson, and I want the kids to know not only who she was to me, but to so many others.

Another phrase I heard a lot these past few days is “Thank you for all you’re doing to help.” That one is coming from me, said to Michal’s and my friends, family, colleagues, the nurses and doctors who grieve for her as well, and everyone affected by this tragedy. I don’t know exactly how I’m going to move our family forward, but I know I won’t have to do it alone.

When someone you cherish dies, people often assume the relationship is over. But those who have experienced loss before know it goes on. You think of them every day. More than think, feel them. Though you can’t have new experiences with them, the ones you’ve had still live in you and take on new meaning over time. And they’ve made their mark on you, you will never be who you were without them.

That Michal has died, and particularly the way she died, feels incredibly cruel. Those closest to her, those who cared for her most, and supported her on her struggle toward motherhood, or simply admired her for it, have a long road ahead to letting the outrage and sorrow go. We must eventually accept that life makes no promises, as much as we might wish it would.

But ultimately life is a blessing and it’s up to us to decide what to do with it. In her life, Michal chose to bless us with two beautiful children. Michal herself was a blessing in my life, and will continue to be through our family. I had almost ten years with a woman that redefined what it was to love and to fight for what you love. And while we all may feel cheated, I am grateful I had the chance to be her boyfriend, her husband, the guy she was most happy to see, the one who knew best how to make her happy, and experience the joy of how happy that made me. Best of all, I got to be the father of her children, and I still get to love her for the rest of my life.

For that gift, there are no words.

 

~

<> For updates, back story, videos of Michal & stories from her friends in the comments section, and to add your own story or well wishes, click here.

<> Most importantly, if so inspired, please give and make a karmic connection of generosity in this hour of need. ~ ed.

<> For many more photos, click here.

About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | facebook.com/elephantjournal | twitter.com/elephantjournal | facebook.com/waylonhlewis | twitter.com/waylonlewis | Google+ For more: publisherelephantjournalcom

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15 Responses to “Jay Snyder’s eulogy for Michal Friedman.”

  1. [...] eulogy for his late wife was just posted this morning, here. Again: please consider supporting Jay, Jackson, and Reverie, if you can. This entry was posted [...]

  2. heather amar says:

    light and love to you and your family<3

  3. Linda Lewis Linda V Lewis says:

    Wow!–no words, and yet the sadness and beauty you convey through words, and the photo–it says it all…the poignancy and one taste of life and death coming together at once–and your courage, Jay, to love on and on.
    Love back at you,
    Waylon's mom, Linda

  4. Any woman would be proud to be so eulogized, and so well loved.

  5. So sad, and so beautiful! This made me cry…I can't imagine how I would feel had I actually known her or the family. Love to her family, her husband and those beautiful babies!

  6. elephantjournal says:

    #
    Narelle Friar http://www.thetigersnest.com/thesnydertwins/rever

    #
    Paddy B Extraordinarily beautiful. Thank you for that. ♥

    #
    Donna Bruschi ‎"and due to complications from a Caesarian section, after giving birth to two beautiful, healthy twin babies." There is a link for donations on the eulogy. What an amazing woman, she was!

    Mavis: Wow!
    "I still get to love her for the rest of my life."

    yes, this is a tragic story…but this guy is amazing…

    #
    Donna: he is!

    #
    Catherine Godward Heart- warming and gut-wrenching at the same time…how fortunate to be loved and give Love on such a profound level! "May the Longtime Sun shine upon YOU, all Love surround You, and the pure Light within You guide your way on…"

    #
    Cathy Grogan love, light and blessings ♥

    #

    Candice L: Thank you for sharing. Thank you for your openness. Many blessing to you and your little ones.

    Michele V:
    what a sad and wonderful story…..

    Sonja H via elephantjournal.com
    Heart wrenching. "But ultimately life is a blessing and it’s up to us to decide what to do with it. In her life, Michal chose to bless us with two beautiful children. Michal herself was a blessing in my life, and will continue to be through our family."

  7. meredithjpotter says:

    Sending love to Mical, you and your precious newborns.

  8. MollyDeShong says:

    I knew Michal in the living rooms of friends in Halifax, where she visited every year in December. She was so direct, open, interested in me…surprising, actually. I have no idea why I mattered to someone I hardly knew, but I did.
    Love to you, Jay, may our paths continue to cross.
    Molly

  9. Joanne says:

    Such a beautiful eulogy and a beautiful love story!

  10. sKY says:

    Sending you much love, light and strength through this incredibly tragic and difficult time. May the babies continue to bring you blessings and visions of the woman you love. My heart cries for you. Thank you for sharing your story.

  11. [...] There is a family in NYC that a friend of mine shared with me… I have been following their story since last week when it surfaced on the internet. It hits a bit too close to home for me at the moment but I think it is inspiring and so I keep reading. The family is short a mother after a complication following a C-section that produced 2 beautiful b/g twins. In this extreme time of grief no one would expect the bereaved father to be able to cope let alone teach us something new about grief and loss. Today I read his eulogy to his wife that included a beautiful gift to his children—one that he alone could not provide—stories of their mother. Beyond all that I thought I’d share his words with you as I think there it this beautiful paragraph about why the loss of a close loved one is so hard… he talks about the assumed loss of the relationship but that in reality the relationship goes on. When someone you cherish dies, people often assume the relationship is over. But those who have experienced loss before know it goes on. You think of them every day. More than think, feel them. Though you can’t have new experiences with them, the ones you’ve had still live in you and take on new meaning over time. And they’ve made their mark on you, you will never be who you were without them.—From the Eulogy [...]

  12. elephantjournal says:

    Update: The Daily News just published a story with a link to snydertwins.com at the end: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/manhattan-dad

  13. Kristie says:

    Cant stop crying at this moment, the words of a husband now father and widow who is so whole and felling blessed is a lesson we should cary with us everywhere! Thank you and my God continue to bless you Revere and Jackson…
    Signed, a stranger from Chicago.

  14. [...] had been sick for the past few years but it was still a bit of a shock. My grandmother (my mom’s stepmom) had called a few days before and said she was taking him [...]

  15. Rebecca says:

    That was beautiful…I cried near the end.

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