“At Ruby and Hart’s funeral, our rabbi, Sharon, quoted a story from the Talmud, a collection of rabbinic discussions of Jewish law and theology. In the story, Rabbi Akiva is in a terrible shipwreck but survives. His friend asks, ‘What happened? Who brought you up from the water?’ Rabbi Akiva says to him, ‘A plank from the ship floated by me, and I clung to it. Holding it tight, I bowed my head with each wave that came toward me, and let it pass over me knowing I’d once again be brought to the surface.’ Sharon then turned to us and said, ‘Gail and Colin, if you can, take a look around the room today. I know everything is shattered around you. Your family, your friends, your community. We are here for you to grab us and hold on. We promise you that we will do our best to help you catch your breath as each wave passes over you.’ I learned to appreciate those planks. I learned to cling to others in my time of need.”