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October 16, 2009

The transformation Diana and Scott will face is the hardest one imaginable. They will need to have more than a little faith.


Mitch Albom’s new book, Have a Little Faith, is all about transformation. Mitch is transformed by his old rabbi’s request to do his eulogy. Henry Covington is transformed after his descent into the hell of drugs and crime by his faith in God and Jesus.

            In his last days of physical life in which the pain increases as well as liquid morphine and methadone dosages, Noah Biorkman is excited by his new Transformer toys which he thinks are the “best EVER!” He is also transformed by his desire to be with his father, Scott, to have corndogs with him and to spend time with him. According to Diana, Noah was so excited to be with his dad that he asked her to give him an “extra dose of liquid morphine before he left so he could make it through.”

            She writes that “when he’s awake, he talks non-stop” and walks in circles, just talking and circling, telling her he loves her “every five minutes.” They share “adult conversations that no five year old should ever have,” including what he wants to be buried with and who will get what after he dies. He decides that his Uncle Mark will get his urinals and which Diana can only react with “LOL!!”

            Noah talked about Carson and says he’s waiting for him and wants to play and that he was sad that a girl he once knew “had her angel wings.” Diana wrote that the crazy thing was she “never told him that she had passed away.”

            “The end is coming,” she writes, “and it’s coming fast.” It’s hard to watch, she says, knowing that there is “absolutely nothing you can do about it.” But like Rabbi Albert Lewis who believed absolutely in God and accepted that whatever happened to him was okay, Diana knows that, though it will be the “hardest thing I have ever done,” she will make it because Noah has made her strong and given her faith.

            Noah’s mother knows her life will be transformed after Noah is gone, when the house is so quiet that she “wants to go crazy,” when she looks at his pictures, when she “finally opens the door to his room,” and when she “distributes the items that he has willed to certain people.” She is terrified of the finality of the transformation: “what I am going to do without him.”

            I can only remember the absolute grief of my parents and the parents of Miles Levin. I imagine the grief of Rabbi Lewis and his wife when they lost their 4-year-old daughter, Rinah, and Henry Covington and his wife when their baby boy, Jerell, died.

The transformation Diana and Scott will face is the hardest one imaginable. They will need to have more than a little faith. They will need the ultimate faith that Noah is still out there somewhere, playing with his friends, covering them with his everlasting spirit.  


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