Finding myself in the Middle East

Thursday, November 10, 2011

To Have Loved and Lost

You know when you're venting to a friend and she goes, "yeah, yeah, that's horrible. It's like what happened to me that other day," and suddenly you're no longer talking about you but it became about her?

So yeah, apparently I'm that friend. These days, it's all about me.

A huge talmid chacham and tzadik died suddenly, and the frum world is in shock. R' Nosson Tzi Finkel changed the face of the Mir and meant so much to so many people. He was a regular kid from Chicago who made decisions in his life that led him to become the Rosh Yeshiva of the largest yeshiva in the world. Illness did not stop him from becoming the man he was.

But when I see people write things on facebook like "We've lost a father," I get bitter. I think, no you didn't. You don't even know what that is. This is confirmed five minutes later when the same person comments on someone's status about shoes using the word OMG.

I know that it hits too close to home and I'm so sensitive now; I made a scene at the dry cleaners when the owner, trying to be a good business man and pretend that he knows me said to me, "Oh, I think your father's in town, right?"--and I promptly burst into tears, much to his horror.

When people--friends!--casually say things like "Oh I heard a great song--but I guess you can't hear it now, right?" Or, at the levaya of R' Nosson Tzvi Finkel, "Yeah, your father also suffered a lot, right?" --I cry, I cry, I'm crying right now.

I know it's raw and it still hurts so much. But I wish that I didn't always make it about me. I wish my skin was thicker, my heart quicker to judge for the positive, my mind able to excuse them. They just don't know. Thank G-d they don't know.

Thank G-d they don't know.

May we know no more pain.


Princess Lea said...

My father was relatively young when his father died. Not as young as you, but in his mid 30's. I wasn't born yet, but when his mother passed away now he is amazed how he was able to handle it so much better. You have gone through a a great trial, and you are permitted time to feel raw. And people, apparently, can be tactless idiots.

I recently read a great article by a local minahel. He was saying about how his friend's father died, and he thought his friend was mourning for too long a time. He wanted his friend to be able to get back to normal. But when his father died, he realized that things don't go back to old normal, because now there is new normal. And no one can understand that, he says, until they have lost a parent.

JerusalemStoned said...

Thank you. You are 100% right. My huband also keeps telling me not to question, just to feel.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. I totally hear you and no one can imagine what you're going through. If they had posted it on your wall or said it to your face, that would have been totally disgusting.
Feel free not to read on, because I don't want to be hurtful, but if you want to hear the other side, here goes:
I used the expression "we lost a father" a few times when R' Nosson Tzvi was niftar. To me, I guess he was more like a father-in-law, but to my husband, he was really a father figure. My husband was told to tear kriah, he didn't shave, and still has not stopped crying.
He used to speak to Rav Nosson Tzvi all the time before making any major decisions and Rav Nosson Tzvi was definitely a father to him. While he B"H has a good relationship with his father, he is not the good advice-giving type and Rav Nosson Tzvi really took that place. So while I didn't say I lost MY father ch"v, I did say I lost A father. He was a father figure to us and his passing has left an emptiness in our hearts and in our lives.

JerusalemStoned said...

Oh hon, I hope your husband finds peace in his heart. It must be so hard for both of you. I'm sorry that he lost someone so special to him. I was definitely not talking about people who actually lost a father figure--I understand that comletely. When my father died, he left a lot people who were not related to us bereft of a father.

I was talking about people who throw the phrase around--and then would talk about something else, something silly or meaningingful but enrelated, proving that they have no idea what it means and they are just mouthing words.

May Hashem comfort you with all the mourners of Zion.


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