Yom Hazikkaron 2013

Grief is lonely, it’s a tunnel with no light. It breaks you and tears you up inside. It hurts.  It consumes you by eating at you, it takes your words out and replaces them with silence. It makes you dead.

The dreams were always horrifying. Dead serpents falling out from a muddy ceiling, landing in a bloody, twisted pile. Lions tearing out of their cage chasing you until you wake up gasping for air. Tsiki’s burning body in front of me, and I am frozen and cannot help him. There were always dreams of helicopters flying over with deafening sounds, tanks, dark wars and i am screaming and my body cannot move. Then I would wake up, in a pool of tears shaking. I would take a shower, standing under the steaming water, taking long deep breaths.

This is how it was for a lifetime it seemed. I was 25 that year, the weeks were sunny and warm, and i could not feel. When the sun set I would go into the closet and pull out his canvas army sack, pressing his shirts onto my face, in the green cloth he was still alive, his scent had not yet faded.

Tsiki 2005 Tel Aviv

 

As the soldier’s remembrance day is upon us, this is what I remember. It’s another lifetime, eight years have passed and I can hardly recall how I even functioned through such a time. An old friend recounted the year with such major gaps in her memory that I felt she would have put more emotion into telling me her daily tooth brushing routine. After eight years, friends stop calling-people forget.  Yet as memorial day arrives, I still welcome it with the same anxiety and sadness that I have always have, I just have more memories piled on top of the old ones.

Dear G-d. Please don’t fuck with my family.

The Friday before Passover, we all came together at Tsiki’s grave to remember him. His comrades stood in the back of the crowd of the cemetery. When i first met them ,they were still in their army uniforms, boys themselves. And now, they are grown men, with families of their own. Our banter is light and we are smiling. I brought my own children this time. A clash between two world’s, but one had to exist for the other to occur. And after they recite kaddish, the mourner’s prayer, i take Ziggy, my two year old- who was born the day after Tsiki’s birthday- and i dip him down to pick up a stone to place on Tsiki’s grave. I hold my breath, i want to cry but i don’t. Motherhood has made me an insecure mess when i read the news but brings out new forms of self control in other situations. We go to the fountain outside of the grave site & i explain to Ziggy how we must wash our hands, just like we do before we break bread on Shabbat.

Tsiki 2005 Jerusalem

 

When we arrive at Tsiki’s family home, Ziggy opens his arm’s to Tsiki’s father, who he calls Sabba Moshe, and cuddles him. We enter their home for refreshments and Safta  Tirtza greets us with a warm smile and embraces my children. Tsiki’s niece and nephew run up to greet them like their own cousins and his sister Anat scoops Ella out of my arms, holding her tightly and showering her with kisses.

This is how it is now.

After Tsiki died, i truly felt it was my job as his girlfriend to carry on and live a life that he would be proud of. I would pull through my days grinding my spiritual teeth hoping for a day when I could be strong enough to carry on. Eight years have passed and I still think about him and my father every single day without fail, but I am no longer the 25 year old in my memories. And now, as a mother myself, I understand Tirtze’s pain on a level I never wanted to. And i just look up into the universe and pray that one day we can stop experiencing this type of pain.

 

Ziggy and my rock, dave listening to the siren

 

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Germapino with a Jewish Twist. Twist. Collective Thoughts of a Ginrod are the musings of a Texas born,half German, half Filipina girl who who went on a trip to Bangkok and found herself in the Holy Land , as a jew, married to an Englishman, with 3 kids and a pup named Henck.

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