For people who know me, they know I do not express a lot of emotion. When I do, it is often comes out easier when I type it on a blog than speak it.
The vast majority of my immediate family (brothers, sister, parents) were in Israel for my Nephews Bar Mitzvah – a nephew I am incredibly close with and see a few times a week. My flight to Israel was cancelled due to the Hurricane so my family didn’t end up going – which was upsetting. But the rest of my family was there.
My mom and dad made it out the week before to spend time with my brother who lives in Israel (the one who reminds me of Matt Cutts), my brother here who I work with took his oldest daughter and my sister’s family, the one celebrating the Bar Mitzvah all went. They arrived Monday morning.
Throughout the days I was in touch with them via phone and email. I prepped their homes for the hurricane, I checked their homes Tuesday morning after the hurricanes as well. Then we went home to eat in our powerless home Tuesday night.
Then I got the dreaded voicemail (cell service was horrible because of the black out) to call back my sister-in-law in Israel, there as a serious family emergency. I called immediately when I got the voicemail and I was told, my mom is very not well, not breathing, not responding, that is wasn’t good. I spent about an hour on the phone with the family as paramedics worked but got no response. She died just less than two days before her 3rd grandchild’s Bar Mitzvah.
No one expected it, she was healthy, she didn’t have any issues that would prevent her from traveling. It seems she had a massive heart attack.
She was 66 and all her children (including son-in-law and daughter-in-laws) and grandchildren were incredibly close to her. My mom just retired officially a few months earlier and she was going to spend her free time with my dad who retired earlier. It was simply not expected.
What Didn’t I Understand
I probably go to visit a mourner one average every other month. People die, they need to be consoled, you go and pay your respects. But I didn’t get it, I didn’t understand it. I never lost anyone myself.
There is this void, there is this pain, it is hard to explain. Of course, there are memories and good thoughts but she is not there. I can’t call her to tell her about this or that.
But when people came to my home to console me during the black out, when they didn’t have heat or lights or even gas to get home….
The ones that have felt a loss before – you can tell it in their face.
They lower their heads, they breath out and lose their breath when they talk to you, they feel your pain through their own loss. It is like they relive the time they lost their loved one in front of you and it is all too clear.
When I visited people in those situations, I did not get it. I did not feel it.
But now I do and I will forever.