In 2008, when the magnificent but crumbling 1887 synagogue on Eldridge Street was restored, it was renamed the Museum at Eldridge Street. Currently, on the lower level of the Museum, near the tiny gift shop, an odd structure stands against one wall.
Made of brown cardboard, it resembles a tall, rectangular honeycomb. Tightly rolled slips of white paper protrude from most of the cells and a nearby sign provides both an explanation and instructions.
There are always things left unsaid. The perfect ending to a conversation with a stranger. A clever comeback in a debate with a colleague at work. A farewell bid to a loved one. Missed opportunities to get in the last word. What do you wish you had said? Now is the time to say it.
Please feel free to remove a white-side out piece of paper and share your last word, returning it to the honeycomb with the red-side exposed. You may also read the last word of other participants, but please be sure to return all pieces of paper.
Here are some of the Last Words that were left in the cardboard chambers. Please excuse the poor quality of the photos; they were taken with my phone.
Why does my mother still not know