'Let me kiss her one more time'

Menahem Yunis's mother, Lily, was one of nine killed in Monday's suicide bombing.

April 20, 2006 07:38
2 minute read.
'Let me kiss her one more time'

lily yunis funeral . (photo credit: AP)


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"Let me kiss her one more time," Menahem Yunis called out as he watched the pallbearers lower his wife Lily's body into the ground at the Yarkon Cemetery outside Tel Aviv on Tuesday. Relatives and friends held him back from the grave as he moaned her name. Lily, 43, was one of the nine people killed in Monday's suicide bombing near the old central bus station in Tel Aviv, and among seven who were buried Tuesday. She had traveled to the city with her family to buy supplies for a new kiosk that her two older sons, Lidor, 24, and Asaf, 22, planned to open in their home town of Oranit. Lily and her son Zach, 10, had gotten out of the car to buy lunch at the Rosh Ha'ir felafel and shwarma restaurant when the bomb went off. Zach was taken to Ichilov Hospital, where he is recovering from his moderate wounds. Menahem told mourners that when he finally found her following the explosion, he held her in his arms. "Her eyes rolled, I knew she was gone," he said. "She was a wonderful mother," Lidor said at the funeral. "She was our friend. She thought of us first and she helped us with everything." MK Marina Solodkin (Kadima) said that "on behalf of the government I apologize that we were not able to protect you." A long-time friend said she still did not believe how their years together had been erased in one fateful moment. She said she could still hear Lily's voice on the phone saying, "It's me again." Lily always said, "In you I have found a good psychologist," recalled her friend. But in truth, she said, it was Lily who was a good listener to her friends, optimistic and principled. She added that she imagined Lily looking around at the mourners shocked and saying, "I never imagined I was so important." Cries of "Lily, Lily" intermingled with shouts of "mother, mother" were heard throughout her funeral. At times, the family seemed to accept her burial. "Father, mother is in heaven and it's good for her there," yelled out one of the sons as his mother's body was being taken to the grave. But when it came time to bury her, her sons and husband yelled out, "No! no!" Menahem offered to do anything if only she would get up from the grave. "I'll take everyone to Eilat," he said. Lily's daughter Bat-el, 17, called out, "Why isn't my mother here, why, why" and then she added, "I love you." As mourners piled flowers on her grave, Menahem was still speaking to Lily as if she were standing there with him. "See how many flowers they brought you. You always loved flowers," he told her. "You filled the house with them all the time." Looking at the cars rushing past the grave, Lidor told her, "You are so close to the street. I will stand here always to protect you." When mourners urged him to leave the site, he refused. "I'm going to be the last one to go," he insisted.

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