Welcome to Barbara Berger’s online memorial! This space is for all of us whose lives were touched by Barbara. Here we can share fond memories, words of comfort, funny anecdotes, photos, or whatever comes to our minds and hearts when we remember Barbara.
Entries to the Guestbook page will be collected privately and will soon appear for public viewing either on the Guestbook page itself or on one of the other pages.
We thank all of you who have made contributions in Barbara's memory to charities of your choice or to Barbara's choice for contributions, VNA Hospice Care, whose nurses, aides, and others brought Barbara care, comfort, and close friendship in her final year.
One of Barbara's pleasures was to watch the delicate hummingbird hovering at the red feeder outside our kitchen window. The day after Barbara's burial I (Bob) wrote in my journal of Barbara-thoughts "Maybe, later this spring, Barbara's spirit will appear to us in the form of a hummingbird." By Mother's Day no hummingbird had been seen. That afternoon Daniel, David and I planned to partake in another of Barbara's pleasures, solving the Sunday Times crossword puzzle. Minutes after we began, the shadow of tiny wings was cast directly onto the puzzle page. The hummingbird had chosen that moment to appear.
Bob's Song at Barbara’s Unveiling
Today, 15 November 2009, I and family members (my sons, Andrew, Daniel, and David; Andrew’s son, Henry; and Barbara’s brothers, Michael and Ron) gathered at Barbara’s grave in Farmingdale, Long Island, to honor her memory and unveil her memorial footstone.After the traditional prayers, ending with the mourners’ Kaddish, were finished, I sang a song for Barbara.I sang for her in the sense of substituting for her in a song meant for her to sing.A similar surrogate singing had occurred a couple of days before Barbara died.Our rabbi had suggested, since Barbara was by then scarcely able to speak, that I and my sons gather near her and sing for her the Shema, the affirmation of faith that a Jew traditionally recites when death is approaching.Barbara tried to join in the first few syllables, but did not have the strength to finish.
The first eight lines below I sang standing at the foot of Barbara’s grave.They are a variation on a verse of the Irish ballad, “Danny Boy”.The final lines I sang from the empty grave site next to Barbara’s, one day to be my own.Those of you who shared one of Barbara’s musical passions will recall their source.