Arik and Lily: The valley and the mountain

In every heart, there is room for only one great pain.

Ariel Sharon (photo credit: REUTERS)
Ariel Sharon
(photo credit: REUTERS)
This is a translation of the eulogy delivered at this week’s memorial service for the writer’s parents, Israel’s 11th prime minister, Ariel (Arik) Sharon, and his wife, Lily, at the Sycamore Farm, where they are buried. His brother, Gur Sharon, died in October 1967, aged 11.

In every heart, there is room for only one great pain. The sort of pain that cannot be pushed aside by other pains or tragedies, no matter how great they may be. It is always there, occupying the lion’s share of the space the heart allocates for pain.
The death of our brother Gur is our pain. There have been many hardships since then: wars, casualties, the death of friends, the death of our grandparents, and the death of our mother and father. They all hurt, but the original sorrow persists.
There is a limit to the amount of pain a person can sustain, and Gur’s death accounts for a large part of that quota. The heart is not indifferent to other tragedies, but there is only room for one great pain.
The couple who lie here did not depart from the world without leaving their mark She was like a fertile valley and he like a mountain Life goes on as a river that never stops flowing The valley and the mountain are gone, like landscapes we pass along the way They live forever, carried in the hearts of those who kept going Oddly, as you move farther away from the mountain it does not grow smaller. Quite the opposite happens The two of them lived here on this land Sixteen years have passed for her and two for him Since they shifted from present to past. And what remains? When one of my children displays a sharp wit Enjoys to the fullest a landscape, a sound, or a flavor Or deftly sketches a portrait I know for certain that a part of them lives on.
Gilad Sharon is the author of Sharon: The Life of a Leader.