The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Michal the Girl Memorial Concert 'Bittersweet' For Grieving Husband

By Sonja Sharp | December 20, 2011 6:36am

TRIBECA —  Jay Snyder became smitten with his future wife Michal Lura Friedman long before he heard her sing.

But on Monday night, just three weeks after the up-and-coming Inwood performer's sudden death from complications during the birth of their twins, he took some solace in her songs.  

“Tonight I’m looking forward to ‘Flashlight,’ because it’s hopeful — and I could use a little bit of that,” the grieving father said, speaking from the back of TriBeCa's Canal Room, where he and dozens of the late singer’s friends gathered for “An Evening in Memory of Michal the Girl,” Monday night. 

The event was part memorial, part benefit for Snyder and the twins, Reverie Vivian and Jackson James, who were born after a C-section at NYU Langone Medical Center just hours before Friedman succumbed to complications from the surgery.

“We were at a party the other night, and we were crying so hard we started laughing," said Friedman's longtime friend and former “Kisser” bandmate Briana Winter, as she prepared to take the stage with flautist Cresta Kruger. “I cried at rehearsal, so it turned into an instrumental song.”

Winter married Friedman and Snyder in 2008, and watched as they struggled to achieve their dream of becoming parents. 

"I think the last year was Michal’s happiest,” she said. “She gave absolutely everything to what she wanted, and she did it.”  

The couple’s tragic story has touched a nerve with parents around the city. Though they didn’t know the singer, mothers Nicole Tieri-Cornell and Liisa Merck said they felt drawn to the concert. Tieri-Cornell even brought along her 7-week-old son, Truman, who was born in the same hospital unit just weeks before Friedman died there.

“I’ll sit on the sofa and nurse him and feel like, ‘How am I so lucky?’” Tieri-Cornell said. “The story devastated me. I felt incapacitated by it.”

Merck, too, felt a personal connection to the tragedy — she lost her eldest son during birth in the same hospital ward.

“On a small level, I feel I can relate to the enormity of grief that’s just beginning for him,” she said of Friedman's husband. “You’re at a place where you’re so close to fulfilling your dreams, and then everything goes horribly wrong.”

Friedman’s death left a grieving Snyder to care for the infant twins alone, a task the benefit and a memorial fund set up for the family hopes to ease. The couple had recently relocated from Williamsburg to Inwood to make space for their growing family. 

“I almost didn’t come tonight, because it’s only been a little over three weeks,” Snyder said.

“But I’m so impressed by how beautiful this is. Everything for me at this point is bittersweet, but it is beautiful to see.”