This year presented new issues, as I took on the coordination, and had to drop the imaginative Mincha service creation, I could only do one with grad school looming. Starting school right in the middle of the High Holidays, and not having them off was a little crazy, but I have just upped my game and finished my papers tonight, before they are due on Sunday afternoon. Now that my brain is clear of Modern History, and Medieval History, and Biblical Gender and Sexuality, I can focus on the fasting and t'shuvah rather than the homework I didn't finish.
Mourning came our way unexpectedly on the Wednesday before Rosh Hashanah when our daughters friend Caleb Mazel passed. While he had been ill for a long time with Burkitt's Lymphoma, and we had not seen his family since his mother had brought him and his brother out to San Francisco to visit family, it has affected our daughter immensely. Having a friend two years her junior pass away has sort of rocked her world in a palpable way. Not to mention the rest of us are like a little powder keg here at chez cry at the drop of a hat.
Donations in Caleb's name (Caleb Mazal Hollander Sande or his Hebrew name, Chaim Mazal ben Shulamit u'Michael) can be made to Chai Lifeline, which addresses the emotional, social, and financial needs of seriously ill children, their families, and communities and restores normalcy to family life, and better enables families to withstand the crises and challenges of serious pediatric illness.
This week I shared a bit of grieving poetry written by Ellen, Caleb's mother, with my Pastoral Care class. The instructor was moved, and I hope that we can talk about it in class. Even if we don't, I am glad that I was able to share some of my feelings and the beautiful pain through poetry.