It is a mitzvah (commandment) to observe yahrzeit, the anniversary of the day of death, by reciting Kaddish (mourner’s prayer) and attending synagogue services. As its Yiddish name implies, yahrzeit originated as an Ashkenazic observance in the Middle Ages, although similar customs are observed by Sephardic Jews, some of whom refer to the anniversary of a death as nachalah (comfort). It is customary to light a memorial candle on the yahrzeit. (https://reformjudaism.org/yahrzeit-calculator)
Death is tricky, there’s no guide to dealing with grief. It sneaks up on you and gives you a hug you don’t want. As we approach our mom’s yahrzeit, the memories of this time last year come creeping back. We are reminded of all those families who are dealing with what we did. Recently, a friend of our mom’s, who connected via this blog, also passed away from metastatic breast cancer. We want to continue our mom’s legacy by focusing on research, so less families face the grief we do.
To commemorate this time of year, we hope to memorialize a gene on Dana-Farber’s gene wall in her name. Over the last five years, we have raised $12,207 for genetic research and women’s cancers at Dana-Farber. A gene donation is $5,000 and our goal is to raise that $5,000 by 1/18, mom’s yahrzeit. This will not only be enough to name a gene in Susan’s memory, but will also bring our total fundraising efforts to more than $17,000. Mom taught us the importance of research and these donations may lead to a new treatment so another family gets more time with their loved one. We hope you can help us reach our goal to honor Susan’s memory.