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Reuben’s Story

Reuben Eli Mitrani, the eldest son of Donna Orbach and Albert Mitrani, the brother of Adam and beloved family member and friend to so many was an extraordinary person. Those of you who knew him know that. Others who are getting to know Reuben through these journal entries and posts will discover that. Reuben died as he lived, surrounded by family and friends, embraced in love.Information on Reuben's funeral and donations in his memory can be found in the Journal entries on this page.This is just the beginning of the healing process for our family. We've so appreciated all your love and support. Please feel free to keep reaching out.Love,Shari

Latest Journal Update

9-24-15 Reuben is still missing three years later...

Tonight there was a glorious sunset. I followed it for a mile or so in my car. Craning my neck toward theGreen Mountains of Vermont as the sky turned orange and vermillion and cobalt and white ringed with coral and fuschia and fire. I kept stopping, quite dangerous on a curvy mountain road, so finally I pulled over and jumped out of my car. I crossed the small but well travelled mountain road without looking, drawn by the beacon of the sky. People walking their dogs couldn't take their eyes from the horizon. I walked to the edge, taking pictures. Knowing that nothing short of being there could ever capture the colors the sky was turning. After a recent trip to Menemsha on Martha's Vineyard where I was part of the crowds of people who both settled in to await and scurried in at the last moment to applaud the setting of the sun over the sea, I made a promise to myself to seek out more sunsets. To stop and take notice as often as possible. But the show that the sky put on tonight? I've never seen anything like it. It just went on and on, it was all climax. There was no slow build and a gasp at the end. No place to applaud. It was the pinnacle over and over again. People kept pulling over and hopping out of their cars and trucks. A town meeting broke up across the street because people had to get outside to be a part of this sunset. To bear witness. A man said, “That right there, that's gods work, right there.”

And I thought to myself, “No, it's Reuben.”

A woman who lived with this view everyday for years and years said, “Maybe, maybe one other time have I seen the sky do something this incredible. This beautiful.This amazing. Maybe once when the whole sky turned golden, but not like this.”

And I wanted to say, “ Today is the anniversary of the day that god decided not to write Reuben's name in the book of life again. Today is the anniversary of the day when he got cut from the team for good. Today is the anniversary of my son's death. This is a gift from him.”

But I didn't say it. And of course Reuben didn't make the sky light up. If there is a god, I do hope that this is the sort of thing god would spend his or her time doing, but I'm not really a believer. So, I don't know where the sunset came from. I don't know what atmospheric conditions conspired to get the  sky to turn all those magnificient hues. But Reuben did it for me. I know that for sure. Just differently than one might think.

Because of Reuben's death, I turn my eyes toward beauty whenever I get the chance. More and more. Beauty and love. That is all there is that matters. Is Reuben directing me? Is he putting me in the way of grace and kindness? I choose to believe that he is. I want to believe that somehow on this day of mortal sadness, Reuben wanted me to remember how very beautiful life can be if I will just turn toward it. And so he helps me; he leads me to beauty; he puts it in my way so that I have to notice. The world, this life, all its splendor, all its agony. Always and always Both. And.   

6 people hearted this



Ellen Roane
By Ellen Roane
Dear Donna, what a glorious sunset in remembrance of your beloved son. Thank you for your inspirational thoughts. Sending love to you, Albert, and Adam. Ellen
Jeannie Ralston
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I'll never look at a sunset the same way. Thank you Donna.
Judith Falci
By Judith Falci
Reuben and you and Albert and Adam have been so especially close in my thoughts and heart all week, really all month.
And these frequent moments always lead me to kindness...​little acts of kindness​ - ​done, ​noticed​ or ​remembered - all day long. That's how I still REMember. ​ ​I am thankful for your request on Ruben's birthday a year and a half ago ​which ​really took hold for me. ​I ​take more opportunities ​for simple acts​ ​of ​kindness ​. ​I have found this perfect, beautiful way to honor Reuben and further ​h​is "ripple" to be a truly wonderful gift for myself too. It has become a more mindful regular habit now. I ​also notice​ kindness amidst everyone's hustle where I used to miss it​. ​I slow myself to hold the​se​ feeling​s​​.
Each time, I really do see a quick picture of Reuben's quiet, sidelong smile and REMember the smiles Reuben inspired me to have when I saw him or when you caught me up on his doings when​ever​ we spoke over the years.
I feel mortal sadness too.
​Your post is stunning, like the sunset.
Sending you all my love.
Ron Muroff
By Ron
There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.
Thornton Wilder, The Bridge of San Luis Rey
Ron Muroff
Both. And. Reuben is missing and it really does feel that he's still on the team. Both. And. Sending you all love.
Terri fresko
By Terri
Absolutely beautiful. Reuben is such a lad! Thank you for the gift that keeps giving, Donna, seeing and creating moments of beauty and wonder helps to heal the world bit by bit. You are keeping up a Jewish tradition, even without the belief in a specific deity. I think hose who have gone before us make up the greater soul of the universe.
Terri fresko
By Terri
Absolutely beautiful. Reuben is such a lad - (expression of awe in UK teenagerish) Thank you for your gift, Donna, the gift that keeps giving. The skill to see and create moments of beauty and wonder helps to heal the world bit by bit. Whether you believe in a god or not, you are carrying on a Jewish tradition!
Susan Leviton
By Susan Leviton
I'm humbled by the awareness of what eyes and heart and mind can unite to experience, and how eyes and hearts and minds will keep holding Reuben in beauty as the days continue to roll by.
1 person hearted this
Eve Hall
By Eve Hall
This is so beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing this inspiration.
With love and gratitude
1 person hearted this
Alex Remmel
By Alex Remmel
There is such a beauty in the spontaneity of life. For whatever you believe, in spirituality, religion. beauty. Minutes ago I was just looking at my REMemeber shirt with dear Reuben's silhouette, and noticing the sunset in the background. And I was wondering is it a sunrise or sunset. It's all about perspective I suppose. And I only hope that you have found the peace and perspective that you deserve to have this New Year. Much love and always missing him, but knowing his presence is in some way guiding all of us to the right path.
2 people hearted this