Words cannot describe the pain I feel, the silence I go through.
I would do anything to go back a month to the days before the tragedy, before all of this happened, before our lives took a turn for the worse.
I can’t digest that the whole world knows my face because of this horrific event.
I can’t believe that I sit as a VIP in all the ceremonies. This is not what I want at all, it makes me feel ill.
How much more pain is possible? I sit and hear about more terror attacks around me, it’s not over.
Arriving at the ceremony and standing up, the siren starts. Up until now, I was thinking about murdered soldiers, and now I am remembering my family. Until now I was silent and trying to connect with the pain of others, but now I am connected myself.
It’s a different world, full of hope but difficult to fill the void.
Rina won’t be there to be proud of me anymore, and I won’t be there to look after her.
I knew that I didn’t want to celebrate our joint birthday this year, but your friends organized an agricultural event and it wasn’t the same without you. I would have enjoyed seeing you having so much fun there.
You were supposed to organize the Memorial Day ceremony at your school, and today, your friends told me that you were the prime focus.
Maia, my best friend, you are no longer here to hear my problems and I can’t laugh at the stupid jokes you told nor annoy you on the phone when I’m bored.
I used to joke that I was always more mature and now, one day, I will overtake you in age because there is only a year difference between us. Soon, I really will be more mature.
Mom is no longer here to hug me and no one hugs like her. There are no more cute messages like you used to leave me, no more notes in my bag before I leave the house.
I can’t stop thinking about the moment at the wedding when you look at your mother and get the final approval before the chuppah.
Or the trips to the zoo with grandma, who indulges the kids with unnecessary sweets and gifts.
Every knock on the door I open it, hoping it will be you who come in. Every time I go out into the street, I turn around to check if you are walking behind me or by my side.
I still have in my mind all your morning rituals, and I will remember them forever.
Rina, you would drink three glasses of water when you got up you would say that it is the healthiest way to start the day with minerals in your body.
Mom, you would put sunscreen on yourself and say that it protects you from the sun and you would recommend that we do the same.
Maia, you would take her time in getting ready so that I would always wake up half an hour after you and we would finish at the same time.
Last Shabbat, we ran away to our grandparents, we still couldn’t be at home without you.
Mummy would always come back on Fridays with Eliyahu hummus and Maia and I would sit and eat pita bread together, catching up on each other’s lives.
This week, I sat at our grandparents and ate alone (I missed you)
I went to sleep because I no longer felt like being awake and feeling the loss because I didn’t feel like waking up to the reality in which I live.
I don’t want to feel anymore.
I remember the moment we turned from a normal family into a bereaved family, the moment when they called from the ambulance to say that mom was being flown in a helicopter, the moment when I called Dad, and he said “Baruch Dayan HaEmet,” the blessing to God when someone close has passed away, and everything was clear.
I remember like yesterday that I cried inconsolably as they closed a part of the hospital so that people wouldn’t get close because I couldn’t digest the truth. I remember asking a thousand times if it was real and each time they answered yes, I just hoped for a moment to hear a different answer, but they didn’t.
I waited for an hour that felt like an eternity to see Daddy, Tali and Yehuda to see that I still had some siblings and a father and something left to hold on to.
The next day, I woke up with a headache, sore throat, mouth and whole body, no one will be able to understand the pain, only then did I realize how much I had cried the day before.
Only I was not moved that famous politicians came to comfort us during the shiva nor that the general staff from the Israel Defense Forces patrol came.
Only I don’t remember anything from the funerals and from that first Shabbat, everything went by in a blur and I wanted it to pass.
Only I can tell sad jokes about pain and loss.
Only I felt the comfort of the thousands of people on the way to the funeral who held flags from one side of Efrat to the other—5 kilometers.
It’s hard for me to look at our childhood photos.
Only I can’t pick up Maia’s clothes and wear them as if she still exists, and I have to convince her that I didn’t know they were hers.
It is impossible to digest that my sorrow has now become part of the nation’s history.
Memorial Day for me had taken on a whole new meaning. I would do anything to go back a month to the days before the tragedy, before all of this happened, before our lives took a turn for the worse.
Keren Dee is the daughter of Rabbi Leo Dee and Lucy Dee, and the sister of Maia and Rina Dee, the three women who were killed in a terror attack earlier this month in Israel.
Translated from Hebrew.
Be a part of our community
JNS is your ideological home. Situated at the center of the pro-Israel ecosystem, we provide readers with the critical context they need on issues facing Israel and their Jewish world.
You can help support our efforts — and enjoy an ad-free experience, as well as premium content and other community benefits.
Join our community and help us continue to keep you engaged and informed.