Time to Cry Tuesday – Want and Need


This might be the first post ever to combine Dave Matthews and the Jewish Holidays; but that seems fitting since this is a post about firsts.

Here we are – playing holiday dominoes – with those of the tribe watching Labor Day cascade into Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

This particular holiday is a tough one for our family. We are still stumbling through the ‘firsts’… the things we are doing for the first time without my mom. Although three and half months have passed, it seems like both a moment and a lifetime. Just when I think I have found my footing, my new normal, my ability to feel sad but somewhat whole, it hits me. I have avoided sharing here but somehow this seems the right thing to do, so here goes.

Although no one can stop me from starting to circle the drain, there is always someone there to grab my hand and pull me out. I have my army of grief guides; my friends who have been there and let me know with their steely strength that I will, in fact, make it through. In spite of myself and because of them.

I am beyond fortunate.

Yesterday I had just finished the massive guerrilla food shop. I was cleaning chickens to make my soup and as I was doing it I thought of how when I was first married I could not bear to clean a chicken and my mom used to laugh with me on the phone as I did it to talk me through. And it hit me. Hard. The drain, she was a- calling me to circle to the left.

And then the phone rang. My Rabbi! Seriously, do they learn this in rabbinic school? Do they become hyper-trained to sense the drain circling? Or was it a coincidence? I think not. He also called on her birthday without knowing it. Both times to check on me; to make me try to find the sweet in all the bitter. To hold my hand so I would not succumb to that proverbial plumbing.

I am beyond fortunate.

And then I had a nice long phone visit with my mom’s best friend since childhood – Aunt Arlene (who is not my aunt), as we called her. Her laugh, her stories, her way… all a piece of my mom. As we talked about how much we missed her I felt another hand reach through the phone to keep me from slipping down those pesky pipes.

What I want, is what I’ve not got. But what I need, is all around me.

Wishing all who celebrate a sweet new year. And all who are grieving the strength to stay away from the plumbing during the holidays.


Filed under aging parents, friendship, holidays, loss

5 responses to “Time to Cry Tuesday – Want and Need

  1. You are lucky to have such sweet people in your life to somehow know when to call. Holidays without someone you love are hard and I dont think they get easier, you just learn somehow to push through or to compartmentalize and then it’s over. I wish I had all I need.

  2. Riki

    The knot is always there, sometimes tucked a little deeper, and then sometimes right at the base of your throat just dying to explode. And then there are the times where you least expect it and it hits you like a punch right to the gut. The salvation is the love and relationship you had with her that taught you how to be a friend, a mom a wife and a daughter. It is truly her best gift to you to have loved you so much that the pain is so great. Just think what it would say if you didn’t feel like this.

  3. Oh your words resonate my feelings for my Dad.

    Beautifully written!

    Thank you

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. margiyogi

    So sorry for your deep loss, Amy… How beautifully you write..

  5. Really beautiful post, Amy.

    I was thinking of you today; and how this holiday is a sad first for you. I know it will be hard, but I hope the sweet parts are super sweet. Hug.

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