Now Its Time To Grieve

For many months many people have been coming to terms with the terminal illness of one of the Perth Jewish communities most dedicated and hardworking stalwarts – a professional worker and even more professional volunteer.  The text below was sent to Jewgle by a friend and colleague:

  

Sadly, Judy Shorrock has concluded her final task amongst us, and today she has lost her battle with cancer.  The levaya will be held tomorrow morning at Karrakatta.


I last sat with Judy only a matter of days ago.  She expressed acceptance and comfort towards confronting her final journey, and her only remaining concern was ensuring that her daughter would be provided for.

 

Having worked with Judy in a number of capacities over the past decade, I can say with complete confidence that she unwavered in her commitment, always followed through on a task, and always did more than her fair share.  Even when she was unreasonably depended upon too much, she still gave full attention to every action point, and took huge pride in the product of her work. 

 

Jude was creative and artistic.  She helped Jewish organisations, and a number of companies design and promote a brand and styleguide through her business in desktop publishing.  However her biggest accomplishment was to land a Maccabean newspaper into our mailbox each and every week.  No matter what obstacles came through, technical, circumstancial, breach of deadline, editorial revision, Jude got the job done and never failed to deliver our weekly newspaper. 

 

Judy talked about each person having a task in the world, and what it took to be able to identify that task.  Even if it is a fleeting moment, we all have a purpose.  When I reflected on her comments, I thought that perhaps in Judy’s case, througout her fifty years, her lifetime work was more than most.  She had many many tasks to fulfill, and competed them all with distinction. 

 

We discussed the writings of Chazal.  When a person confronts the heavinly court they are asked three questions.  Did you set aside time for Torah Learning?  Were you honest in business dealings? Did you have children”  The first question was expounded through our conversation to encompass personal development, love of Jewish identity, advocating for the Jewish people, and doing Jewish things.  Judy spent her early years preparing herself to accomplish this in her later years.  The second question exemplifies Judy’s commitment to being beyond reproach in each and every instance.  The third is her legacy, that continuity of passage is guaranteed to her forbears.  When petitioning the heavinly court Judy carries a chesbon hanefesh that stands proud and must find acceptance for her contribution to all around her.

 

Through our distress of watching yet another friend and mentor demonstrate such strength and resolve in the face of adversity, we yet again struggle to comprehend the senselessness of cancer.  We have been touched so many times by this slow killer that shortens the lives of so many, that delivers an unfair death sentence to thousands upon thousands of good people in this world every week.  There is no good in this.  Except perhaps for one opportunity to prepare for our last rights.  Sometimes people depart this world at a moments notice, and unexpectedly.  It may be crossing a road, breaching the limits of anxiety, or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  We are all mortal and we do not know when our time is up.  However a cancer sufferer has the opportunity to prepare for the inevitable.  They have the ability to put their affairs in order, to sit down with their loved ones and contemplate what really is important, to to allow those emotive expressions to be communicated, and to say goodbye.

 

Even with a small measure of solace that may sit within this thought, it is difficult to comprehend the final passing of yet another friend.  There is time to prepare for the shock, express ourselves, and not be suddenly surprised by tragic news when it arrives.  However, no matter how prepared you are for the worst of news, it still hits with a shock, and you are still never ready to confront the bereavement.

 

Judy Shorrock will leave a void in the lives of those who knew her that cannot be filled.  She will leave a gap in the community fabric of the Perth Jewish community.  May her family be extended a long life, and many precious memories, and may we all learn from everything that Judy gave to us for inspiration and for good.

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