Day 3

This afternoon was the shiva minyan. I asked Rabbi Stern to read the following poem:


I have a bed, my very own.
It’s just my size.
And sometimes I like to sleep alone
with dreams inside my eyes.

But sometimes dreams are dark and wild and creepy
and I wake and am afraid, though I don’t know why.
But I’m no longer sleepy
and too slowly the hours go by.

So I climb on the bed where the light of the moon
is shining on your face
and I know it will be morning soon.

Everybody needs a safe place.

Mary Oliver, Dog Songs

It didn’t happen often, but whenever I had particularly horrible nightmares or couldn’t sleep, I would go into my mom’s room. She was a light sleeper, so she always woke up and she would comfort me. If it was a really bad night, I ended up sleeping on the floor next to her bed, not wanting to disturb her rest anymore than I already had since I tend to move around a lot while sleeping. I never shared this with anyone because the idea that a thirtysomething woman still ran to her mom’s room doesn’t exactly come off well and it’s a little embarrassing. But my mom was my safe place. Whenever I had a crying spell, she would just tell me to cry it all out because it was good to get the tears out. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer, I had a meltdown and she half cradled me while I cried. She may not have been emotionally open, but she didn’t want me to be that way because she knew it was unhealthy for my mental wellbeing.

I had a nightmare a few days ago, woke up, and immediately wanted to go to my mom, but then I remembered she’s gone and I just cried. I’m just trying to make it through each day right now and that will have to suffice because I don’t have much energy these days.


  1. Never be embarrassed at needing that comfort. Over time your memories of times with your mom will become a comfort.

  2. Breast cancer is a cruel mistress. And we are never too old to need our moms. A mothers love is eternal. It’s a special, complicated, beautiful (sometimes angry!) bond. And the after is complicated. It’s wrought with guilt, missing, and absence. Sending hugs. And F* breast cancer.

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