Uncle Abrascha (Albert) Lotters died last Wednesday. He was born in the Ukraine in 1910, fled the Bolshevik Revolution at 7 with his parents, went to university at Ghent, later fleed the Nazis to Paris, then Spain, then the Dominican Republic. He was a civil engineer who worked on irrigation projects in the jungle of Hispaniola before a fortuitous eye injury allowed him to come live in the US. There he lived and worked in New York, working on projects including the Chrysler building, and the 1964 World's Fair grounds at Flushing Meadows. When his first wife passed in 1968 he was soon introduced to Joyce Stern and soon they were married. They were married 36 years. He died March 8, 2006 in Port Washington, NY. He was 95.
Burial is a strange thing - a very scary thing. It's hard not to picture the body inside the coffin pleading not to be covered with dirt. At Jewish burials it is customary for the bereaved to cover the coffin with the initial layer of dirt. Said layer must cover the coffin completely so that it is no longer visible. This is supposedly supposed to ensure that animals and other things don't get into it and for the family members' peace of mind.
Jews mourn for seven days. It's called "sitting shiva." Shiva means seven. It is sad but you get to eat a lot of food and pray quickly compared to most other services. I hope Aunt Joyce eventually lets the tears flow. It was very strange to see her not cry.
Also, Tony Soprano died tonight on the Sopranos. More on that later....
Now Listening to: Junior by Aceyalone w/ RJD2