Not being in Toronto for happy thing, or normal things is hard. Not being there for sad things is even harder. Today for the first time Jason and I felt like getting on a plane just to come home just to give someone a hug. We feel so lost over here. People we know are hurting and we can not be there for them in any of the normal ways.
For a simcha, you need weeks of notice. Even then, if there is a conflict, well, "you can't dance at every wedding". Those who know me well will know that I often comment on how strange I find funerals. In a few hours tens if not hundreds of people come together. Other plans fall by the wayside. Family and friends who have not seen each other since the last tragedy fall sadly into each-other's arms hoping that the next time they see each other it will be "oif simchas".
But here, even if I dropped all my plans, I could not have made it. By the time we found out there was physically not enough time to get there. Certainly no one would have expected us to show up at the BAYT this afternoon. But the guilt of not going, of not being there for a funeral of someone we loved and respected is hard to deal with.
Abba once gave me advice on how to decide whether or not one should go to a funeral or to a shiva. He said that if you knew the person, you go to the funeral. If you know the family, you go to the shiva. I have taken it as sound advice and in Toronto used it regularly to decide what my course of action should be. What Abba neglected to teach me though was what to do when you can not go to either, and want to be at both.
So we cried here, and we will call and send a card/donation. But I can not see how that comes close to replacing a hug or a listening ear.
I can not believe how much harder it is to miss something painful.