Tuesday, January 3, 2012

We Share in Sorrow

Here's the story, the nightmare of every parent:  the mother (M) came home from work during her lunch hour, to nurse her three month old baby.  She put her daughter into the crib, and returned to work, leaving her child in the care of her trusted sitter.  When the sitter tried to wake up the baby for the next feeding, she could not.  The girl was not breathing.

According to Jerusalem custom, the baby was buried immediately tonight, in the child-size plot overlooking the city.  The mother wailed, the father stood stalwart, performing his duties of reciting the Kaddish for his daughter.  Friends from work, family, and those of us who know them from the Gan gathered to support them, love them and cry with them.  Their two year old son has played with Raphaela every day since last year, making us all extended family.

This stretches my faith to the limits of imagination, and yet, I am inspired by M's piety in the face of such horror and sadness:  the sister of the sitter came over to M, and M immediately inquired about the sitter.  "How is she doing?" "Make sure she knows that we do not blame her, that she will always be welcome in our home." "Thank G-d she was there, she was sent by G-d as a messenger to endure what I could not as a mother."

It shames me.  This afternoon at the pediatrician I broke down in tears, explaining to the doctor (who is also a friend) that I feel poised on the edge of insanity, that I am beyond tired and how badly I neglect myself in favor of work, Raphaela and managing our lives.

Tonight, all I want to do is crawl into bed and hug Raphaela tightly, all night.
May we never know from such sorrow.
May G-d comfort the mourners, especially that two year old boy who just lost his baby sister.


Midlife Singlemum said...

I'm crying as I write this comment - beautifully written Doc and so heart breakingly sad. It makes me hate every time I have complained about mundanities when I have been so absolutely lucky in the grand scheme of things. God bless you, M and their family.

Doc said...

Observed at a shiva call, between M and her two year old son E

E: Someone took my sister away.
M: G-d did. Do you know who that is?
E: Yes. (pause) Why?