Author, poet and publicist Yehonatan Geffen, one of the most important artists in Israeli culture who passed away on Wednesday at the age of 76, was laid to rest on Friday in the Nahalal cemetery.
His family, friends and colleagues came to the cemetery, including his son Aviv Geffen, his ex-wife Shani Friedman, their son Dylan, his daughter Shira and her partner Etgar Keret, his daughter Natasha, his ex-wife Nurit, his cousin Lior Dayan, opposition head Yair Lapid, Meir Shalev's widow Rina, singer Dafna Armoni and many others.
Aviv said the Kaddish prayer for his father in tears and said in his eulogy: "There were many demons that stood between us like a punching bag, but you were my hero. You were my saddest love. I missed you from the day I was born, and I will miss you until the day I die."
At the end of the eulogy, Aviv and his sister Shira sang Geffen's song "Place for Worry" together.
"In the last two months, our meetings were about your new poetry book," said Shira. "You asked me to edit it, and I immediately agreed. In the last month, you had no more patience. You asked to finish it and send it to be proofread. I fought with you. I wanted us to continue to sit in your garden next to the cats and drink raspberry juice with soda and fix your poems. You said you were tired and that from your experience if you deal with poems too much, they get ruined. But I didn't leave you alone because I felt that if you finished your work, you would leave. After all, the title of the new book is You Were a Wonderful Audience."
"I'm still looking for the words," said Natasha. "Dad, to everyone else, you were Yehonatan Geffen, but to me, you were Abuya. Until the end, you were my best friend. I cannot believe I lost my best friend. You taught me to be full of imagination. We used to sit on the beach for hours and make up stories about people we didn't know. You made me laugh. You must be looking at us from up there and laughing at it all. Dad, I will continue to go through life and see beauty and humor as you told me to. I love you Abuya."
Geffen's sister Anat also spoke, saying "we were four, and we are now only two. You were a unique and special brother to me. I am so happy that you were my brother."
"Yehonatan once wrote, 'if love was a country, I would be the foreign minister,' and he was wrong," said Lapid. "Love has a country, and he was the prince of it. Except for his children, he loved words more than anything. He believed that words had to be free, and every morning, he released them from their cage. In my opinion, he would have left this funeral because he would have been bored. This funeral isn't for him, it's for us because it's sad that you are out and we are in, but I never promised you all a rose garden."
Geffen's friend sang "If Death Comes" which Geffen translated to Hebrew 40 years ago.
In the end, his three kids sang "Good Night" and "The Sixteenth Sheep", both written by Geffen.