Joan Didion’s book: a Year of Magical Thinking was something I could recommend to my friends- she had a writers way of speaking to those that didnt understand. She had a way of making me understand the thoughts in my noggin’ and put it in perspective. Another analyzation of grief I stuck to deeply was Elizabeth Kübler-Ross ‘s theory on the cycle of grief. I read and re-read her analyzations, I tried to decipher which stage I was at, I always wanted to assume, since I feel I can adapt easily to situations, that I would advance through her cycle with a trophy in the end. After five months, I told the head of the IDF’s Girlfriends of Fallen Soldiers group, that I think I was already at the acceptance stage, she looked at me with soft eyes and responded: “There is no way, given the circumstances that you have reached that level”. I was in denial stage still.
As time passes with losing two of the most important people in my life- I get caught in small moments where I reflect the times where my innocence was a reflection of my age and period in my life. I get caught in pockets of thoughts where I blink and I am back in a life I could never have possibly anticipated until it was mine to live. I have reached acceptance stage. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross failed to mention the guilt that is carried onto the stage of acceptance. The IDF support group didn’t. I have fears that in moving on and feeling for someone else, I would alienate the bond I had with Tsiki, that it would make his parents feel the memory of his son is diminishing with time. I know better than that- I know my ability to continue with my own happiness is a big relief to everyone. But it doesn’t mean I still don’t have the guilt.
The most beautiful thing about the Girlfriends of the IDF group is that they help every woman realize that what they are feeling is normal. And with 135 soldiers that fell in the last month, it is not a surprise than a handful of groups have been created to accomodate these Girlfriends, these Fiance’s, the new brides. It will be no surprise when new additions will sit behind me as I speak to groups about the girlfriend group, and they will be in shock at their suddenly displaced souls and new reality.
Making sadness beautiful has always been my goal through the last year and a half. Finding a reason to look at the world as beautiful and promising was at one time almost impossible. Carrying my basket of reasons at this moment and accepting death as a reality (esp. in Israel) has become my small fortune. I agreed with Aviva Zornberg when she lectured at her weekly Parashat Shuvua that: grief is the closest relationship you can have to g-d, it is a time where your soul is wide open and in your pain, all your beliefs are challenged.
As summer has reached it’s peak and the humidity is following us like a stray dog. I am confident to admit that although I have certain hesistations, and a dab of mistrust with Fate, my heart handled all the possibilities that the last month of war presented and despite the stress and the troubled times, I still call Israel my home and my heart is quite ready to get on with the next season and more amazing weekends that I have the fortune of having.
Now I just need to win the lottery to buy that car i’ve been whining about.
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