I have said kaddish for my father kind of intermittently… rather badly, in fact. Kind of the way I was a daughter: sometimes attentive, sometimes really nice, but mostly just benignly neglectful. Mostly just busy with the kids… the perfect excuse not to go to shul, or talk about Big Things, like cancer.
Very glad I wasn’t obligated.
We bumped into the rabbi who is obligated at YM’s PTA evening tonight; I hate to say we’re paying him to do it, but who else would commit for eleven whole months?
Anyway, however it happened, we couldn’t have asked for a more wonderful, worthy person to say it on our family’s behalf.
I was surprised when we were told who it would be: he is the father of a family where I used to go; they took us in for Shabbos and Yom Tov meals quite often at one point. Hadn’t really seen much of them in years… but I guess they have a son in YM’s school (at least one) because there they were tonight.
Very nice, very quiet people who singlehandedly (well, the pair of them: the family of them) get a lot of chessed done in the community. “Mah tovu” kind of people… whose homes are the kind of living kiddush Hashem I wish mine would be but know it never will be.
I wanted YM to do it, but I’m glad he wasn’t obligated either. At first, we were told a child couldn’t, because a child can’t say kaddish while his parents are alive. “His parents aren’t alive,” I pointed out.
But still, it was decided it was too big a burden for a 14-year-old. It would have been. But I will ask him to do it on Sunday – well, motzaei Shabbos and Sunday. And then mincha will be the last time for a month. Maybe I’ll actually go to shul.