After my mother died, every supposedly joyous occasion had a pall thrown over it. Without her, it was hard to celebrate. Without her, everything felt empty. When my father-in-law lost his mother (my husband's grandmother) just a month before the holidays last year, I understood, in my own way, a bit of what he and his siblings would endure. Each time I witness someone losing a … [Read more...]
Not long ago, I sat with a sweet little old man who was dying. (This is a regular occurrence for me; I’m a rabbi who works in hospice.) The man’s one dying wish was simple: to speak to his teenage granddaughter on the phone in Australia before he died. His selfish daughter was too “bitter” about the past to allow this to happen, he said. His request seemed so reasonable, his … [Read more...]
This article originally appeared in Write Away under the title "Weeping May Endure" and is reprinted here by permission. A friend of mine suffered a grave loss three years ago. When it happened, it stirred up something in me. I do not deny the beauty and compassion and generosity that course through our world, but there is also much malice and hardship and loss. We humans … [Read more...]
I loved someone deeply. When she passed away, I drank excessively. My grief-logic was simple. She drank vodka. We drank vodka together. She’s dead. I’m not. She’s gone. Vodka’s not. The act of drinking vodka became entangled in a trippy continuum that made me feel connected to her. In my head, I could drink all the vodka I wanted because it was in her name – and God … [Read more...]
The Body Is Not an Apology
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