A day after the death of Staff Sergeant Ohad Dahan, his family is struggling to accept and digest the immense loss. A few hours before he is laid to rest in the Ofakim military cemetery, his cousins reconstruct the moments of receiving the bitter message, and try to understand what exactly happened.
"We never missed it," says Noam Dahan, Ohad's cousin. "He's arrived, so everyone knows. He brought joy and light. We looked at pictures today as children and we don't realize he's not here."
While the IDF is investigating the circumstances of the ordeal with the many question marks hovering over it, the family says they are "waiting for answers. Everyone wants to know what happened and how it was. We trust the IDF and are waiting for an official response. We try to feed on the IDF and not speculation. We concentrate on the heavy grief and try to be strong."
Ziv Blum, Ohad's cousin, recounts the moments of receiving the bitter message, just as the whole family shared the Shabbat table. "We came for a family meal at my grandmother's house in Ofakim, like every Shabbat. We arrive, sit down and hear about an incident that took place at the border. You start to get apprehensive and a fan doesn't answer. Accept the gospel and begin to digest this impossible situation. That's how we got the news."
Recalling the childhood years they shared with Ohad, their cousin who was killed, they say with great pain: "We grew up together, all the cousins. Ohad as a child was the goofy of the family, we always felt like he was in the room. Ohad was a hero. He had no fear in his eyes. It is clear to us that he is the one who will storm and do it first and defend the country and everyone who was there with him. A hero, a child of the country."
The last time the cousins spent time together was last Shavuot. A meeting that turned into a traumatic and unexpected breakup. "We spoke one last week ago, on Shavuot. We sat here at his house and talked about how much fun it was for a fan to come out," they recall.
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