Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Yizkor for the First Time

Simchat Torah is supposed to be a time of pure joy. We have gone through the Tshuva process of Elul followed by Rosh HaShannah & Yom Kippor.  We then have the joyous days of Sukkot. Hashem turns to the Jewish people and says I want just one more day to be with my people. Aliyah gave extra significance to the meaning of 'just one more day' as family and friends would visit for short periods of time.

Simchat Torah is not a time of joy for everyone. We stop so those missing loved ones can say Yizkor. The pain of infertility hits hard with a child centric holiday.  When Channah was born I thought I would never feel that pain again. I had Channah (my 'Sefer Torah') to dance with. The last two years I had 'Kol HaNearim' and good friends to help cover the pain of Gabi's loss. Last time my 'Sefer Torah' was too old to come dance with me. We prayed there would be another to take that roll.

For the last 3 months I have been haunted by another memory from Simchat Torah. Rachel had begun saying Yizkor when her father died (Our Rabbi holds you should say Yizkor in the first year). Channah was always by her side to give her the strength she needed to get through it. While our Rabbi gave us a lot of leeway in terms of mourning for Gabi, Yizkor and Kaddish were not permitted. Rachel walked out of shul furious at me. She could say Yizkor for Gabi.  My Mom says Yizkor and lights a candle for Gabi.  How could I not say Yizkor for my own daughter.  I promised I would ask the Rabbi before it was time to say Yizkor again.

The one on the left is for Gabi. The one on the right is for Rachel.
I spent Yom Tov with some really close friends.  It gave me someone to say Yizkor with. It also gave me a sound board for my hopes, fears and to do list over the coming weeks, months and year. After everyone went to bed I sat in front of the candles and cried.

As expected Yizkor was emotional and anti-climactic at the same time. They don't do the long introduction here so it is fairly short.  I did have a panic moment, as I had Hagbah today.  When Yizkor was announced there was confusion as someone got up to say something that is supposed to be said at the end.

Channah had a really good day with a lot of moments that I was very happy about. As life returns to 'normal' I feel the weight of the world returning to my shoulders. I am scared of the challenges I need to face. I am excited that I will be able to play hockey close to home. I am hopeful for the future. I take comfort knowing that the people I trust have told me I am not crazy. I believe I have the strength to get through the next stages of picking up the pieces and rebuilding a life for Channah and myself.

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