For You: I will believe in what you cannot see. I believe in Unicorns

annaschwalbIt has been an awful time, in a time that should feel like a time to be happy: The Jewish New Year and all the possible bounty it can hold. 

This is in memory of a child of my friends. A child who even Gd seemed to cry as the heavens opened up with pouring rain to match the tears inside during the funeral. 

This Obituary for Anna appeared in this week’s Detroit Jewish News. May her memory be for a blessing. May she always be a reminder to us adults of innocence, and may we try to hold onto that innocence and joy and wonder, even as sometimes cynical adults.

 May her family know that, though we cannot diminish their deep sorrow, we can bear some of it, if just a tiny bit, for them, and we have strong arms to help them through the weeks and months ahead. 

Anna Hendren Schwalb, five, of Ann Arbor, died October 1, 2014 as a result of injuries suffered when she was struck by a car Friday, Sept. 26, while walking home from a family Rosh Hashanah celebration.
She was the beloved daughter of Dr. Jason Schwalb and Dr. Samantha Hendren and cherished sister of Jessica Hendren Schwalb and Joseph Hendren Schwalb.


She is also survived by loving grandparents Carla Page and Robert Hendren; Rabbi J. Fredric Schwalb and Joanne Landau, and Ellen Kahne; great grandparent Sam F. Mineo; and aunts and uncles Christopher and Melinda Hendren, Micah and Katie Schwalb, Benjamin, Amit and Zhenya Schwalb. She is also survived by many loving great aunts, great uncles and cousins. She was also loved and cared for by her devoted nanny, Christina Linguidi.


The family would like to express their gratitude for the world-class care provided by the medical team at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital in Ann Arbor


The funeral was held 10 a.m. Friday, October 3 at Beth Israel Congregation in Ann Arbor and attended by hundreds of mourners, followed by a private burial.


Anna’s golden curls and wide smile brightened every room she entered. She loved to sing and lead songs at her preschool at the Jewish community center of Ann Arbor.  She was a happy participant at Tot Shabbat services at the Beth Israel Congregation in Ann Arbor.  This fall, she happily adjusted to kindergarten at the Hebrew Day School of Ann Arbor. She always made sure everyone was included in playgroups. She loved her friends and upon returning from school, created paintings and drawings for her friends and family.  Annie used to say that when she grew up, she wanted to be a nanny or a teacher. She loved purple and believed in unicorns.

Donations in Anna’s memory may be sent to the Hebrew Day School of Greater Ann Arbor by visiting the school website at or mail a check to Hebrew Day School of Ann Arbor; 2937 Birch Hollow Drive; Ann Arbor, MI 48108 or call (734) 971-4633.


About stacylynngittleman

I have been a reporter and public relations professional for over 30 years, specializing in profile features and investigative longform writing. During my career I've profiled WWII Honor Flight Veterans, artists and musicians and have written on topics that range from environmental and gun control issues to Jewish culture. Click around on my writing samples plus read my blog on my personal life raising three kids over 27 years and three cities.

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