One thing I’ve thought about a lot during these past few months is that no matter how old you are, you will always cry out for your mother. While in the hospital, my mom wailed for my grandma who has been gone over 24 years and these days, more often than not, I find myself crying for my mom and wishing I could curl up in her arms. It’s that security and familiarity that comforts us. My mom has always been the one I turned to when I needed help or was upset and acknowledging that that version of her is gone has been hard.
During services last night, Cantor Niren began singing “Song for the Divine Mother of the Universe.” It’s a beautiful song and she offered it as an alternative to Avinu Malkeinu. I love this song, but it just reminded me of my mom and how drastically our relationship has changed. I tried to keep it together, but I ended up bolting out of the service just before dissolving into tears. In past years I would have gone straight to my office so I could break down in private, but instead I plopped down onto the nearest chair outside the chapel (and later onto the floor) and began sobbing, which led into a panic attack. Not five minutes later, two friends came out to check on me. One held me in their arms and the other got me tissues and water. They stayed with me, missing the rest of the service, just comforting me and talking. That meant so much to me.
As hard as it’s been, I can’t imagine how much more difficult it would be doing this without my friends and community and I am forever grateful for that.