Yesterday I wrote about my parents’ accident and my mother’s subsequent passing.
Just a few weeks prior to the accident, I had begun to study and practice Mussar. I never could have imagined at the time how much it would help me with the difficult times to come.
I remember vividly the day we discussed the middah, or character trait, of Bitachon – trust that it will all be okay in the end. Even when the outcome is the worst possible outcome, you still trust that it will be okay, that you will be okay.
That very evening on my way home, I received a call from my father. He had just signed a DNR and would be meeting with the doctor the next day to discuss removing the breathing tube. That was the moment I stopped praying for Mom to recover and began praying for a peaceful end. It was the moment I was able to accept the inevitable.
I’m not sure I would have reached acceptance but for our discussion earlier that day. As much as my heart was breaking, both for myself and even more so for my father, I was able to trust that in the end, it would be okay. We would be okay.
A year and a half later, my father still hates locking the door to a much too quiet apartment at the end of the day and my heart still aches from time to time (like right now as I’m reliving this!), but thanks to each other, our friends and our faith, we’re okay.
The Jewish month of Elul leading up to the High Holy Days provides an opportunity for spiritual preparation. It is a time for cheshbon ha-nefesh – looking inward and reflecting on the past year. The daily sounding of the shofar calls us to examine our words and our actions, and the words of Selichot (prayers of forgiveness) inspire us to seek forgiveness and to forgive others. We look ahead to the new year when we can begin anew, striving to be the best version of ourselves. Each day, I plan to blog on a thought related to this period preparation for the Days of Awe, along with many others in the Jewish blogosphere. For further inspiration, search #blogElul on Twitter or Facebook.
I invite you to add your own thoughts on the daily topic. Feel free to add your comments below or write your own blog, following the daily topics indicated or any others that call out to you.