In creating Never Long Enough—a unique book about the end of life, coauthors Rabbi Joseph H. Krakoff and artist Dr. Michelle Y. Sider brought together their many years of professional expertise with families. Krakoff drew on lessons learned through years of counseling adults and children wrestling with death, grief, and remembrance. Sider’s career working as an artist, arts educator and psychologist influenced her approach in creating evocative images that demonstrate how art can help to unlock emotions and heal the heart. Together, they crafted an interactive keepsake book for families and friends, complete with pages to add personal reflections thereby transforming the book into an individualized tribute to a loved one.
Never Long Enough is designed to be read along with someone nearing the end of life — or, it can be read by mourners after a death.
Whenever this book is opened, it becomes an active invitation for conversation, lifting up memories and preserving the legacy of someone’s life.
For many years, I’ve been working with families to guide them through honest conversations about the legacy and the values that remain even as someone we love dies, Krakoff says.
This text has already comforted so many families through this difficult, emotionally charged time.
I’ve seen how art can help people express themselves, bring out their feelings and tell stories. By weaving the words and art together, I hope the reader will move slowly through the pages and reflect deeply on the words. Reading and responding to this book as an individual or with loved ones becomes a very compelling and helpful experience. says Sider.
Krakoff originally developed the thought-provoking text while in Rabbinical School at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. As he shared that text with families, he realized that powerful imagery would heighten the healing process of reflection. Sider, inspired by the text, envisioned pairing phrases in the poem to original art. Using various techniques, she created stirring images that powerfully illuminate the text, are inclusive of different ethnicities, religions, and relationships, and culminate in a final, powerful blend.