This week I was sad, and no one knew what to do, including me.
It was the week of my father’s second yahrzeit– the first one had landed on Shabbat, and it’s not appropriate to be sad on Shabbat, so in 2020, pre-pandemic, I had held a kiddish in our home Shabbat morning and invited several friends and some of my husband’s students. It was meaningful and festive.
But this year it did not fall on Shabbat….and it hit me. Thankfully because we are all fully vaccinated, we were able to be with my brother and his family in Ramat Beit Shemesh, just outside of Jerusalem. We shared a dinner, and some Torah thoughts connected to our father, of blessed memory.
But I was filled with a deep, deep sadness. My father loved me more than anyone in the world, and he is gone. How does one process such a loss?
I went to the Kotel, the Western Wall, and cried. I don’t know if I had ever cried there before. I often hear others cry, a reminder of why the world calls it the “Wailing Wall”, and when they do, it tugs at my heart, and I include a prayer that Hashem should comfort them in their pain.
But that day I was in pain, and I cried for me and asked my father in heaven to be an advocate for our family, to beseech the ultimate Father in Heaven on our behalf.
My husband was at a loss on how to comfort me because I was not myself. And that is what helped me lift out of it. Thankfully, as my mother always says, I was born “sunny side up”. Joy and positivity are my natural countenance, and that is why my own personal coping skills are few For me, melancholy and sadness are the rare days.
And tomorrow is another day.
And what a day….the day we welcome the Jewish month of Adar. The rabbis teach that when Adar enters, so does Simcha, joy. It’s the month of Purim, the most joyous day of the year. In what has been a year of tremendous challenges, let us all grab on to the Simcha and release the pure joy of being alive and all the possibilities that entails.