19 Elul 5776
by Donna Fliegler
When my daughter died in May, Rabbi Cohen suggested that I join a Vitas Bereavement Group that would meet at the Temple. We gathered together nine weeks ago, a group of women in various stages of grief for husbands, a partner, fathers, a nephew, a brother and in my case, a daughter. At our first meeting we acknowledged other losses and how these losses affected these more recent ones. Our “homework” was to write about our feelings and address any conflicts or ambivalent feelings. These journals were not shared but the writing invited introspection and some resolution. At our early gatherings there were many tears as we passed the tissue box back and forth, but by our sixth meeting, we found we were often laughing together. This week our eight week term comes to an end and we are facing it with trepidation, as it will be another loss. We have bonded as a group and hope to get together occasionally just to check up on each other. But if we don’t we will look back on this experience as uplifting and positive.
Donna, your echoes of Elul thoughts really touched me. I also found great comfort with a Parkinson support group and this reminded me of its healing ability.
Thank you Donna for your reflection on joining this group and how much it mattered on the care and lessons learned during your early grief period.