On my death
No funeral, please. Simplest coffin the funeral parlour can provide
(one step up from a pine box).
I want to be buried, not cremated. Buried in a cemetery,
not the Jewish section, not any particular section,
not any particular cemetery (a lonely graveyard on a wild heath would be
good, but there are none in Johannesburg).
No funeral, please. No prayers,* no rabbis.
Family and friends can come to the burial and stand at the graveside,
if they want to. If it’s raining, all the better. Weeping is encouraged.
Flowers may be thrown into the grave or piled on top.
No speeches. No raising of wine glasses ‘in celebration of her life’.
A small glass of vodka and small piece of herring might be allowed,
in remembrance of my forebears somewhere
around the Baltic Sea.
A gravestone, saying MONICA GRUSCHKA SEEBER, nothing else.
Please plant an indigenous tree in my name,
somewhere in South Africa, and another one
somewhere in England.
The Standard Bank has my will.
*Except if there is someone to say Kaddish, in Hebrew. Maybe Hugh Cobb.
I’m trying so hard not to be sentimental that perhaps
I sound cold-hearted, but I am not.
I am so very sad because I am leaving all of you.
Don’t cry for me too much, but please
Kaddish Prayer Provided in English and Kaddish Transliteration
May the great Name of God be exalted and sanctified,
throughout the world, which he has created according to his will.
May his Kingship be established in your lifetime and in your
days, and in the lifetime of the entire household of Israel,
swiftly and in the near future; and say, Amen.
May his great name be blessed, forever and ever.
Blessed, praised, glorified, exalted, extolled, honoured,
elevated and lauded be the Name of the holy one,
Blessed is he above and beyond any blessings and hymns,
Praises and consolations which are uttered in the world;
and say Amen.
May there be abundant peace from Heaven, and life, upon us
and upon all Israel; and say, Amen.
He who makes peace in his high holy places,
may he bring peace upon us, and upon all
Israel; and say Amen.