Letter to Parents of sick child
The child went through a lot and baruch hashem recovered. Based upon conversations that I had with the family over the 2 month period, I intended to write the following letter. The family was truly brave and had a lot of emunah. The mother spoke of the fact that she was always “guarded” and I sensed that she felt responsible for what happened because she let her guard down when she was pregnant with this child. I told her that I was once in the hospital with my child but did not tell her the outcome. I am not sure if she ever knew that our child passed away but she never inquired about it.
Please let me know if your feelings about the letter below. You can email me or leave a comment anonymously if you want. I am hesitant to send out this letter but want to get some feedback first.
Thanks in advance.
Dear Mr. & Mrs.,
I am so pleased to hear the good news that you were granted release from the hospital. The reality of what you experienced will slowly ooze out like pus from a wound over the next few weeks. You will gradually become accustomed to normalcy and your hospital experience will move toward the far end of your subconscious. It may take time but it is typically faster than you think. However no matter what happens, you need to keep in mind that “when you came home, your arms were full”.
There is a natural inclination, especially after this type of experience to be over protective. On at least one occasion, we mentioned the idea of being guarded: the feeling of being worried or anxious; constantly examining every possibility to make sure that all is ok. However, such a belief is at the risk of ignoring an important lesson. Being guarded is the false belief that somehow we are able to protect our children by ourselves without any outside intervention. Yet the reality is that Hashem protects us and Baruch Hashem, he laid a protective cloak around your child during this extremely difficult experience. I was able to witness first hand the real “sakana” that your child was in. Through Hashem’s kindness, over the next 2 months, she was nursed back to health. The lesson to be taken is one of deep hakaras HaTov. Real hakara is not defined as thanks. It is recognition. And being guarded does not contribute to the belief that Hashem is in control. Sometimes we like the outcome and sometimes we don’t. Yet, when the outcome is one which we can relate to, it is incumbent on us to make a seudas hodaah as soon as possible. Don’t waste a minute. That is real hakara. When you came home, your arms were full.
As normal life seeps in, matters which were unimportant during the trying times, will once again take importance. The little things will matter again, and rightly they should. However, each night before you go to sleep, recognize the kindness which was done to you. Try to see past the suffering and see the outcome. Perhaps even say a kepital tehillim and express your hakaras hatov and then say another kepital for the children who are still in the hospital, Hashem yerachaym. And that has great meaning because you understand what that is like. And most of all enjoy your child. While you might feel that you missed out on her precious early months, you also created a bond with this child which is stronger than steel. I pray that these words will be taken in the way that they were meant. There is a saying that words that emanate from the heart can pierce the heart. When you came home, your arms were full, when we left, our arms were empty.