It was the second day of shiva and I had just woken up to confront a bunch of my girlfriends all at once in my living room. Up until this point, and all the way from the time that my husband was pronounced niftar Sunday morning, I had gone into battle mode. The first call I made in that hospital room when things were final, was to my chinuch Rebbetzin who told me that I needed to be strong for my children so I could break the news to them and be there to console them (this advice was specific to me). My kids also wanted me to take them to the levaya so I had to continue to be strong for them for that. Then my in-laws came and sadly heard the news off the plane, so I wanted to continue to be strong through their initial shock phase. But finally, I woke up that second Shiva day morning feeling it was ok let go and to go into the pain.
My friend, who is very spiritual and was with me at the petirah called to check in while I was sitting. She instinctively knew that it was time for me to experience the worst. I started to go through the entire beach scene play by play with her on the phone and my friends present. It was an intense, deep, dramatic, emotional experience. We both talked it through purposefully until it was finished. And we left it on a very dramatic and unhappy note.
As I cried, I said to her, “you know, I can understand everything (in my own way) except one thing – what is the purpose of trauma? I have an image in my head from that beach that is terrifying and I just can’t get it out of my head. What is the purpose of trauma?”. And she said something shocking.
“I don’t know”.
I couldn’t believe it. Between her and me we seemed to be able to know everything (in our short-sighted way). There was no answer and a silent infinite pause.
Just then I get a tap on my shoulder from a girl I had never seen before. She drops a card into my lap. She says that she is my sister’s friend who took my three year old for a walk around the old city for a bit. They saw a group of Christian tourists for Israel singing carols so they stopped to look. Then one of the tourists told her that they love Israel. She reached into her purse and gave my three year old a card, instructing him to give it to his mommy.
My sister told me to ignore it, but I said that I needed a comic relief moment and decided to open it.
The card said:
“We as believers of the Bible, we believe in the God of Israel. We came to encourage and to comfort you from Holland. Know that God will give you a double reward for all your sufferings. It is written by the prophet Isaiah 61:7.”
And I felt a huge hug from the other side. Thanks for answering my question Hashem. I still love you Gershon.