the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Rock Around The Clock

I miss my father, who passed away four years ago, only a few months after I started blogging. Today, I took the Long Island Railroad today to visit the cemetery where my father is buried.

It is a Jewish tradition for a visitor to place a rock on the headstone.






One, two, three o’clock, four o’clock, rock,
Five, six, seven o’clock, eight o’clock, rock,
Nine, ten, eleven o’clock, twelve o’clock, rock,
We’re gonna rock around the clock tonight.



  1. Corina

    No comment, just support.

  2. Pearl

    These days one can even see polished gemstones and small seashells on headstones.

    I went to visit a classmate’s grave a number of years ago and didn’t have a stone, nor was there one lying around, so I left a wrapped candy…because that classmate had such a sweet personality, I thought it only fitting.

    As is said, your father’s neshama should have an aliya (ie. his soul should continue to rise upwards), and he should continue to look out for you and your mom, Neil.

  3. Quadelle

    Just read your post from 4 years ago, it sounds like your Dad was fabulous. No wonder you miss him.

  4. mamatulip

    I love rocks…I have stashes of rocks all over my house. I guess I’m a bit of a rock collector. I’m quite intrigued by the tradition of putting a rock on the headstone…what’s the symbolism, or meaning behind that?

  5. Heather

    just sending good thoughts…and perhaps a virtual rock.

  6. Annie

    Big hugs. And kisses.XOXO

  7. Otir

    Mamatulip: I am not sure about the symbolism, but the meaning is to tell anyone that you have actually visited the deceased person’s laying place, a way to tell you are remembering the departed.

    In older cemeteries there were no tombsones erected, pebbles or rocks were the only markers for a burial place.

    It’s considered an utmost act of kindness to care for the deceased (because they won’t retribute for it). Even after they are buried, by placing a rock on their resting place, you affirm that you participate in this act of caring for the place and for the remembering.

    Neil, may your father’s memory be always for a blessing.

  8. churlita

    You’ll always miss him, but time does help with the ache a bit.

  9. maggie, dammit

    I’m sorry, Neil.

  10. sizzle

    Four years. I can’t believe it’s been that long and yet, I understand that it can feel like just yesterday.


  11. better safe than sorry

    my father passed 13 years ago last july, i still miss him. my mother had him cremated, disposed of the ashes without telling us (her kids) what she did with them, and i don’t know if i can even explain how it makes me feel, and i don’t mean to make this sound disrespectful, but you are fortunate that you do have a place you can go and be with him, i don’t have that. i hope it gets easier for you.

  12. Long Story Longer

    I’m sorry, Neil. Sending good thoughts.

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