Mending the Hole by Susan Jacobs, Director of Education

The death of a loved one is an inevitability in everyone’s life. It is tragic and painful, regardless of the age or circumstances. Most often, we know it is coming and thankfully, only on rare occasions, are we shocked by the sudden loss of someone who is central in our lives. One minute they are here and the next minute, they are gone. When it is a child, the loss becomes unthinkable. It is the nightmare every parent fears most and one year ago, it happened to my family.

We lost our precious twenty-three month old, Sid Aaron. All smiles, snuggles and laughter and in a flash, there was silence, shock and tears. It is nearly impossible to make any sense of what happened. It left our family in tatters. To weave that story, the story of Sid, into the fabric of our lives has been unimaginable. It left giant holes in our hearts. There were stitches dropped that caused other parts of our lives to unravel. We were shredded.

And one year later, I am amazed that we made it through. We are still devastated by his loss but we can function. Some days, we more than function, we can laugh and be happy. When I think about how that happened, how we began to heal, I know where our strength came from. It came from the love and support of our community. Our Temple Beth El family. Close friends and people we barely knew embraced us and cared for us. If you ever need a reason to justify why you should be a part of temple life, this is it. When you need love and support, this community is where you will find it. It won’t come just because you joined. It won’t come unless you make an effort to find your place and create relationships but if you do, if you make the effort, you will reap benefits you can’t imagine.

Minute by minute, day by day, month by month; a dinner delivered, a donation received, a kind word, a hug, a call, a prayer, has helped us move forward and begin to patch up our lives. A year later we are better.  We are not as tattered and torn. Every kindness and thoughtful gesture has been like a quilt block, lovingly sewn and those blocks and patches have become a quilt of love that keeps us warm and reminds us that we will build a life around the hole.

I am grateful beyond words.