Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A thank you letter to Mesameach from a Lakewood family

Yosef  Grady Zt"l 
To Lipa Schwarz and the Mesameach Crew, Reflecting upon the last few years brings back many memories but one will always bring a smile to our face. Mesameach. A medical diagnosis such as brain cancer is frightening. We were left in deep pain and utter shock. We didn't know how to continue living on but Yosef זצוק"ל taught us to take each day as it comes. With his steadfast emunah he begged us to remain happy and not to worry or cry. His complete being was Simcha and you, Mesameach, helped keep that flame burning. From the first month of his diagnosis to his very last week, you were constantly there to uplift his spirit with heartfelt song and dance. Coming home after his first surgery was heartbreaking. A young yeshiva bachur with a
prognosis so bleak. Being an adult, Yosef זצ"ל knew exactly what he was facing and understood it would be a tough medical journey with an uncertain outcome. With no delay, you left your families on Chol HaMoed (Sukkos) to be there for him. He was too weak to come downstairs but that didn't stop you. You went to his bedroom and transformed it to a peaceful auditorium. From that day on, you kept reaching out and offering to be there for him as much as possible. I remember days that we weren't sure if he was up to visitors but the minute the music started playing, he was a different person. His eyes lit up and his voice joined in prayer. His headache seemed to fade with the sounds of the guitar & his pain seemed to disappear to the warmth of the room. Recognizing this, you've encouraged him to list his favorite singers and arranged for them to come. In the more recent months, the situation got harder and he was dependant on oxygen; it helped him breathe and relieve the intense pressure he felt in his head. Unpredictably, he took it off with the start of a song. The volunteers constantly used to comment "Yosef Chaim looks good today!". We used to nod our heads thinking 'if only they saw him a few minutes before they came they would know to appreciate it more...'. The difference was incredible. Yosef זצוק"ל had a passion for music. Having you be there for him during this period was so comforting to all of us. You've provided him with moments of joy in the most meaningful way. On Sunday, June 19th, 2016, his situation went from bad to worse. The doctors called us in advising to say our final goodbyes. At that point he laid unconcsious with labored breathing. We didn't know how much he understood but we did. We called a minyan and started saying vidui in tears. Within minutes, you showed up and filled the room with songs and prayer. We watched in tears as men sang with their entire being and others played the guitar for hours on end for someone they barely knew. The intensity in the room was palpable. It continued this way until his passing two weeks later. The nurses watched in amazement; they've never seen something like this and confessed that they took pictures and video clips to share with their family and friends. You used your power to tranform such a difficult experience to one that we will always cherish. מי כעמך ישראל! We daven that Yosef זצוק"ל be a מליץ יושר for you to have the health and energy to continue being there for the community. May Hashem repay you and your families as promised: אם אתה משמח את שלי, אני משמח את שלך Fondly, Rachel Grady & Family

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