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Nava Zeevi: Choosing life after an unfathomable loss

Published 3:54 pm, Thursday, December 6, 2012
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On Dec. 8, 2011, Westport jeweler Yekutiel "Kuti" Zeevi was shot and killed during an armed robbery of his Y.Z. Jewelry office in the Compo Shopping Center on Post Road East.

A year after he died, Zeevi's widow, Nava, shared her thoughts on the loss of her husband and her life since then in a letter to the Westport News:

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It was a difficult year and an extremely scary one. Kuti was no more.

A beautiful life together ended in one shocking phone call: Your husband was shot in his office. What does one do when their world collapses in one minute?

I needed to decide: Do I just let myself sink into despair and get crushed, or do I choose life? I chose the latter. By reaching out one day at a time to my dear ones, and to my inner resources that this life with him gave me I am regaining my strength.

It was a year of adjustment. I learned that one gets stronger by giving to others, I reinforced my ties in and with the community even more, with my colleagues at Staples (High School), with all the choir students, who stood shocked by my side offering help, they all are so special to me.

I reached out to Kuti's soccer team players, his dear, dear friends, and made a habit of coming on Sundays to watch them play, and lay flowers on the bench commemorated to him on the field.

I reached out to my neighbors on Half Mile Common who are so supportive of me, to many of Kuti's clients who called, wrote and are still telling me wondrous stories of how loved he was, how justly he conducted his business, and how he became a part of their families whenever a new milestone diamond was called for.

I reach back to all my wonderful dearest friends who kept calling to check on me, to ask me over, to make sure I am not alone, and still do.

And in my dreams I spoke to Tali, my dearest daughter, who we lost to leukemia five years ago, asking for her help too.

It was also a year of promise and hope since the arrival of my first grandson, Yuval (in Hebrew: a brook or stream of water), born to my son, Neer, and his wife, Liora, five days after the murder. As he opened his eyes for the first time we all knew that Kuti is looking at us through them. He is sweet, adorable, clever and funny, the grandson Kuti was so eagerly waiting, and sadly, will never meet.

But I am here, getting ready for the times I will be telling him all about the legacy of this lovable, warm, generous, smart funny and loving grandpa he missed.

-- Nava Zeevi