Share a special moment from Bertha's life.


Shared by Paige Djemal on January 21, 2011

From the day I met Bertha, something was very evident.  She held nothing back, told you what she felt, was honest about everything....even the door to her house was always unlocked.  I realize now that unlocked was the best way to describe Bertha.  No question was off limits, nothing was a secret....she was always willing to share.  Bertha taught me that its better to be up front and honest, not just with other people, but with yourself as well.  I know for the rest of my life, because of Bertha, I will try my best to always be unlocked.

I miss you every day.



Shared by Paige Djemal on December 25, 2010

I've been struggling for over a month now, trying to figure out what to say here.  I finally decided to share a letter that I started to write to Bertha, but unfortunately never got a chance to finish or share it with her.  I finished the letter after she passed and hope that somehow, some way, she gets the message.  I wish I got to share this with her, but I have to take solace in the fact that even though I didn't tell her enough, she knew I loved her so much.


I can't even believe that I am sitting here, writing this letter.  I don't even know where to start.  I can't even understand my life without you in it.  Over the past ten years, you have become such a huge part of my life.  I remember meeting you when I was 16, and again when I was 20, and being absolutely terrified of you!  I had never met someone who was so strong and so straightforward.  Over the years, I got to know someone who was not only tough, but loving and giving as well.  I remember so many fun times together, sharing clothing, eating stuffing out of the pot on the stove, and hundred and hundreds of conversations that seemed so common at the time, but are now memories that I will treasure for the rest of my life.  You taught me how to be strong, how to speak my mind, and how to have a thicker skin.  You also taught me to love myself, no matter how I looked.  You always told me that people are not statues, and I will always keep that in the back of my mind when I get down on myself.  You also taught me how to take care of Joey and helped to show me how to be a good wife and mother.  I promise you that I will take care of Joey for the rest of my life, and that all that you taught me will carry on with Joey, Jordan, and g-d willing, other children in the future.  I can't believe that Jordan won't get the chance to grow up with you, but I promise you I will tell him how much his Savta loved him every day, and how he and his cousin Ethan gave her so much joy and laughter during the last year of her life.  I feel so fortunate to have shared almost every day with you for the last ten years and I honestly don't know how to not speak to you and not see you.  You were my sounding board, my conscience, and my friend.  People joke about their mother in laws being people they have to "deal with" because they come along with their spouses.  That was never the case with me, because I am so fortunate that I got you as my mother in law.  I will never forget all that you taught me, all the laughs, the tears, or how strong you were, til the very end.  I love you more than you will ever know and my heart is broken without you here.  I tell myself every day, "don't cry because it's over.  Smile because it happened."  No matter how much I miss you, and how many times I cry because you are gone, and no matter how much it hurts, I smile every day thinking about your smile, your laugh, and every moment we shared together.

I love you so much and I know you will watch over everyone and be our angel.


Shared by Michelle Djemal on December 17, 2010

This was a song my mother used to sing to me. Yafa Sheli - Eyal Golan

Only a day after my mother passed I found myself standing in front of a room full of people struggling to find the words to describe how deeply I love her and what kind of person she was.  Since then I have thought long and hard about all the memories we shared and still I had trouble sorting through them to find what is most important because each one of them is so important to me.
My mother was one of the strongest women I have ever encountered.  No matter what struggle she was faced with, she always found a way to get through it and she made it look easy.  Until her final moments she remained strong for those around her.  She was more worried about the people she loved than herself.  About a month before she passed I had the opportunity to have an amazing talk with her where we both expressed our love for each other and our fears about the situation.  She told me that the hardest part was thinking about leaving the people she loved most and how she wished that we didn’t have to go through this sadness.  Even when she was faced with  the battle of her life she was more concerned about us than herself. That was the type of person she was.. She was always lending out a hand to someone in need.
Another one of my mother’s best qualities was her honesty and open mind.  She was the best person to go to for advice because she would always tell it how it is.  She was logical and rational and she always seemed to know exactly what to say.  There were countless times when I needed some advice or comfort and no one could do it better than she did.
Those are only a few things about who my mother was.  No description of who she was could really do her justice because she was so unique.  I miss everything about her,  the way she would caress me, her laugh, her advice, and the list goes on and on.
The last words she said to me were “I love you more” and although I always knew how deeply she loved rami, joey, and myself, it was an incredible moment that I will never forget.
Just having faced the toughest time of my life I can still say that life is beautiful and although we are still mourning over our loss, we have to celebrate the fact that we were blessed to have her in our lives and to still have each other.
I want to thank everyone that has given us love and support to get us through this, especially her friends.  You have have always been more like family to us and this whole experience has only strengthened the bond and the love that I have for all of you.
As Joey said during the funeral service this is not goodbye. Not only is she watching over us, but a part of her will always be in each of us and one day we will meet again.

Shared by Sandra Ghelman on November 28, 2010
I wanted to share a favorite story about Bertha, but as I'm trying to think of one story in particular I have countless snap shots of amazing memories that I can't seem to narrow down.  Of course there are the endless conversations and gossip sessions around her kitchen table...or when she tricked me and Michelle into eating chicken heart around that same table! How about her teaching me hebrew songs to sing in front of her friends...well not all of them! Or better yet, the time she took me and Michelle to Mohegan Sun at ages 13 and 15, handed us some game vouchers and told us to keep busy for a while.
I'm so thankful for the time I got to spend with Bertha, all the stories I got to share with her, and the priceless advice she gave me.

You were something special and one of a kind, ema.  I love you and you will forever be in my heart and remembered through these stories!




Shared by riki noy on November 27, 2010


My dearest friend,
It's very hard to write or even think about saying goodbye to you
Tears are running, my heart is broken, my beloved friend
A pure friendship like what we had shared was so special
All the beautiful times together, all the good memories
It doesn’t matter for how long we were apart a year or two
We always felt like time stood still every time we met.
I'm glad we had the chance to see each other again a few months ago
when I came to visit you, we could go back in time to all these great moments.
I enjoyed our time together talking for hours, laughing, it felt like you were never sick and it was all a bad dream, but it wasn't.
Without being able to say goodbye
I'll share this song that we loved and listened to when I was in NY
with all the people who love you
I'll remember you forever,
Dear friend, you will be missed.


Shared by tamar wolberger on November 20, 2010




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