This week has been exhausting and will only continue as such. All I dream of is being able to stay in bed late and not having to move…maybe that will happen next Friday.
On Saturday my heart broke to say goodbye to everyone. It was a day full of tears and confusion.
Saturday night not only was I figuring out how to pack, but when I opened my emails after Shabbat I saw that my friend’s daughter had died- at that point I didn’t know any details.
Without sleeping on Saturday, on Sunday I got onto my first flight at 5am and arrived in New York at noon. I then had to go food shopping and readjust to being back.
On Monday I got to school to have process group. To find out that my friend’s daughter took her own life. My friend was in class that morning and only found her in the afternoon. My teachers and friends had gone out for the funeral, and throughout the week people were flying out to pay a shiva call.
In addition to holding other people’s pain, I was broken in my own way. Saying goodbye, trying to figure out what is next, trying to figure out how to find happiness. And so then on Tuesday in process group I spoke, well cried and spoke about my pain and loneliness and inability to figure out what is next. It took a lot out of me, but I spoke, and then it was done, and I was left in my head, only to have to travel to Philadelphia to teach a class.
On Wednesday I woke up in pain and exhaustion. But I decided to go to school because my head was still whirling with thoughts of Tuesday. In some ways there were no more tears, but the pain in my heart was still present. I made it through the day and even had a very interesting and different conversation with a friend…but then I didn’t go to sleep till 1.
On Thursday I was still tired and still alone and in some ways felt it even more. Only to end the day hearing my friend and colleague crying because every avenue that she has tried for next year has almost worked and then failed. Her husband doesn’t have a job in a place he likes, and her daughter needs to go to a special school. I went home will intention of writing a sermon, packing, cleaning and going to sleep, but I was unable to fall asleep till 3.
And then I come to today. After four hours of sleep I woke up and knew that I had to get on a plane. I got to the plane and immediately passed out and slept for the entire trip. Upon arrival I hopped into an uber and went to my friend. To see her sitting was painful. It was obvious that she was grateful that myself and others were able to come be with her this week, but still it was a loss. During Mincha, I almost starting crying. Looking up the stairwell and seeing photos of her family and of her late daughter, knowing that there will never be any more of her. Wondering to myself what will they do with her room. What will this time of year look like for the rest of their lives. What will next week be like when they are supposed to go back to “normal”.
It was from there that I hopped another Uber to where I am for Shabbat. I spoke at length with a man who started a community health program in Chicago. He now works around the world and teaches public health. And I got to where I am staying, and they immediately offered me a beer and some food, and told me to go to the room I’m staying in, “go rest a bit” they said.
So here I am, drinking beer, knackered, trying to unwind from the day, but trying to find energy to teach this weekend, as well as be a good guest. Hopefully I will get some sleep and it will be a Shabbat of peace, to start next week off with something positive.