Robert Heinrich, I left a note in the Western Wall that said: “May G-d accept our beloved D’vasha bat Label into the World to Come. May she have an aliyah on high and may she look down and bless her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and all those who loved and whose lives she touched.”
I am blessed that my cousin Robert took the time to make an aliyah for my mother. When I saw, Bob was visiting Israel I asked if he would say Kaddish at the Wall for my mom as I knew he could, and I knew he would. The note left at the Western Wall left on this pre- Thanksgiving weekend may it be seen and heard by an Almighty G-d to keep not only my mother safe in her journey through eternity but as she meets my father and those that left us before her.
As comforting as this makes me, I am also feeling a discomfort with the hospice and grieving support community. Must on “beg” for support and counseling? The experience I had is not what I would wish for anyone else. I have shared this with the hospice group we used, and for specific reasons, I will not name them, in hopes that they will make the corrections they need. I will say that the Jewish Hospice Network Organization was and has continued to be an excellent source of comfort and provider of excellent information. When I have any question (even now) they respond with an answer or at least lead me to someone who may assist me. They have also been active in the DVasha series and our podcasts, and we hope to continue our relationship.
It will be six weeks tomorrow that my mother died, and I have not been able to talk to anyone about my feelings. I have tried talking to my husband, but it’s not filling the need. When I try talking to Alex, it’s all about him. I haven’t tried talking to my brothers, the distance and sharing my thoughts over the phone I think would go flat, and I am not ready to deal with their feelings yet.
When we signed up with hospice the concept was not only would we have services for mom; the services would extend to the family. It’s funny, often we were asked. “what can we do for you?” and I had no answer. However, when I work with my clients and share positive energy I always recommend that asking what someone wants or needs is the wrong thing to ask. Think about what you would need at that time. Maybe it includes sitting down in the living room and just talking about mom. Or maybe it’s talking about how the future looks. Start the conversation, have the talk, center it around a cup of tea or a great cup of coffee. Take a walk, or sit down and hold hands. Touch is needed even if you feel distant!
Counseling and support are required and must be available. Even if advice and support are quasi-non-professional community-based support, this would be better than what is being offered now. (NOTHING) We cannot expect that we the survivors are just going to get over this. And what does getting over this mean? And is there a reason to get over this?
Life may go on, but without support and understanding, we may not know how to find the path. We must work together, to bridge the gap, and stop making excuses.
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