Sunday, September 25, 2005

Retreat Part 2 (2005)

Friday Night davening is an interesting experience. It consists of 40% intense tefilah. The other 60% consists of about 30 individuals, from all walks of life, looking around the room trying to absorb the fact that basically everyone else in this room is a bereaved parent. Almost everyone you see has been through a similar experience that you have.

Everyone that you see shares the tragedy that you have gone thru. And to that person, his tragedy is as real and pain filled to him as your tragedy is to you.

Some of the Chai Lifeline staff breaks into a “rakeida”, a dance. I can't bring myself to dance. I am not prepared to cry but I see no room for dancing either.

Can someone tell me why we are dancing? I don't dance at home, and I have no intention of dancing here. What are we celebrating exactly? One of the parents speaks between Kabbalos Shabbos and Maariv. He is exceptionally open. I start to feel uncomfortable as he describes the strain that his child's death has had on his marriage. Why is he sharing these intimate details?

It begins to dawn on me that he is doing a tremendous chesed for everyone. He is breaking down the barriers from the start. He is paving the way for others to feel comfortable describing their own struggles. There is so much that is bottled up inside, we start to recognize that whatever we leave inside after this weekend will stay bottled up for another year. Walls begin to crumble.


Blogger Alan aka Avrum ben Avrum said...

Dear Glem,

I won't waste either your time or mine with the usual platitudes, but I do wish you and your family well in the New Year, and just maybe it IS exactly that which you mentioned ... the doing of chesed that may begin to ease the burdensome weight of your tragedy off your shoulders even if only very slightly though your loss of Nechama Liba shall forever remain in the real of the absolutely intolerable! I remain ...

Sincerely yours,


6:06 AM  
Blogger Alan aka Avrum ben Avrum said...


second to last line should read " forever in the REALM of the absolutely ..."


6:09 AM  

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