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I Can't Forget

Shlomo Kroizer, IDF Soldier

In life, we cannot fully know the stories of those we pass on the street or in the supermarket aisles - the losses they have experienced or the trials they have faced. This moving poem - shared with us by Hagay Kroizer, a professional Israeli model from an ultra-Orthodox home - reminds us that in Israel, many people carry pain and loss with them each day. And many of these people are those you'd never imagine.

I remember the day he died.
It was already the evening, almost night when I arrived home.
The same house that was almost empty all week was packed to the brim with people-
on the porch, in the entryway, the kitchen, the living room.
And on all of their faces was the same expression- as if it were the end of the world.

I remember when dad told me he was dead, even though it was already obvious.
At that moment I didn't cry, I didn't scream like they do in the movies.
I couldn't even talk.
I sat down on the couch, and I wanted it to swallow me up.
I wanted this whole terrible universe, to get swallowed up by the couch with me.

I remember when I saw his dead body.
We rode in the car, together with the Burial Society together to the cemetery.
In the car, my feet almost touched his.
And I tried, without success, to imagine what he looked like under the Talit the he was wrapped up in.

I can't forget
The sound of a mother's weeping as she buries her son.
I can't forget
How it feels to wake up for the first day of the shiva.
I can't forget
How it feels to look at a picture of a man who until yesterday, you could hug.

Every day, every year I remember and can't forget.
Even if sometimes I want to because it hurts too much.
Every year I wish that I will be the last person in the world who feels death, and who is left with memories that won't heal.

On Memorial Day I wish more than ever
To live in a world without death--
For no man, no nationality, no one.

In memory of Shlomo Kroizer z " l
I love and miss you,
Your little brother

Hagay wrote this poem in memory of his older brother, Shlomo, and their parents have established an educational website with the same goal.

Tags: IDF

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