Rabbi Ken Chasen

Allan Axelrad

Stephen Axelrad

Karen Axelrad

Eve Axelrad

Joel Axelrad

Eulogy for Harriet Axelrad

Delivered by Eve Axelrad

Although we are saddened by mom's passing, I really wish to celebrate her life, just as she did. She was an example of loving kindness, gratitude and creativity. She touched people easily. Everyone adored her. Norma said she changed her life when mom took her to a writing workshop.

This is mom's poem entitled Celebration:

Since I have achieved my three score and ten
All years to come are frosting on the cake.
Freedom to do and license to be
Whatever delights or enrages me
Whatever possesses or inspires me,
Continuing to seek, to learn, to serve, to enjoy.

The week before mom passed, her lovely friend Dorothea brought over poems to mom's that mom wrote, and Dorothea illustrated and bound into a book. Mom said she would like to have copies made, and given to the people who came and visited her. That was my mom's way, always giving back to family, to friends, and to good causes. Joseph rushed out and made the copies, mom was very grateful.

My mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer on November 3rd. Mom retained her dignity, her graciousness and her loving kindness right until the end. Thank God she could be cared for in her home. She had 2 angelic caregivers from Belize, Flo and Allyson who cared for her with open hearts. My entire family and friends that visited want to extend our gratitude to them. Also, her housekeepers of many years Maria and Miriam loved her as well.

Each day my mom would admire the flowers that surrounded her in her bedroom, and the red roses she could see through her bedroom window in the garden. In fact, with her talent for Japanese flower arranging called Ikebana , she guided me in arranging the flowers from her bed. Prior to that, she always had a beautiful Japanese arrangement in the living room. She took an advanced Ikebana class in Japan where she was the only American student. Just last summer she taught my water color class Japanese flower arranging.

I look back at old letters from mom, and she always expressed gratitude and love. I am proud and my heart is glowing when I say my mom was a gem, a gift, a blessing. She was much more interested in people than in things. Her favorite gifts were memories that her children would write down from their childhood, and present to her on special occasions.

I love that mom made a tradition of taking each grandchild, for a week, on their own trip to some destination in the United States or Canada. She must have encouraged the grandchildren to write, because I have many postcards from those trips that my children wrote, and I assume mom inspired them to do that.

Mom also had fabulous friends. They traveled together, studied together, celebrated together and looked after each other. When mom turned 80, Bea hired a bus and took 40 women, including myself, with a guide to downtown murals followed by lunch at Chinatown.

Let us remember mom's life as a celebration and affirmation of life.
God bless you mom. I love you far more than I can begin to express. You spent a lifetime raising and caring for your family, and even though you are no longer here with us, I know you will still be watching over us. Just as your life was a celebration, you'll be there with us in every celebration to come.

My Friend Darrel wrote:
"On wings of kindness she ascends
The gentle soul that we all knew
Making stops along the way
To touch our hearts with kindness, too.
And though she desperately wanted to stay.
Her purpose here on earth resolved today.