To understand what I am going to tell you, you need to know that my parents were scientists and that my mother’s mind had a decidedly unpoetic bent. Nonetheless, they read me poems from the time I was very young because they paid attention to what gladdened my spirit.
We’re not in the sort of culture where “my dad died over a year ago” is an excuse. But when I speak to other people who have lost loved ones, they say it takes two to three years before the wounds heal. I wonder why there is such a disconnect between our personal experience and our expectation of others.
A fragment of a prayer—"Remind me of the person I used to be"—poignantly sums up the theme of Naomi Levy's book about finding one's way back to hope and strength after great grief. Levy was a member of the first class of women admitted to study for the rabbinate at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, and the first Conservative woman rabbi to serve a west coast congregation.