The bond between a mother and her child is a powerful one. This relationship can potentially affect the course of both their lives and those of the people around them. Writer Emlynn Francis combines stories of her childhood and advice on moving on from grief in her new book, WELL-WATERED (From Tepid Tears to Raining Grace).
Using examples from her own life, Francis talks about the power of loss and the hold it can have on our psyche. This grief can be especially difficult when it comes to our parents. A good parent does more than complete the lowest level listed in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. They support us, they love us and encourage us to grow into fully functioning adults. When they are gone, the emotional and psychological hole that they represented in life is one that will never be filled.
The problem I have with this book is that I found her advice to be empty, hollow, and uninspiring. This book should have been the figurative light under the ass to push her readers to move beyond their grief and whatever else is holding them back. But I felt nothing. Which is a shame because this book could have been so much more than it is.
If there is one thing we all take for granted, it is life itself. Then we are reminded how quickly we can go.
Tomorrow night is the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Jews around the world will fast for 25 hours and pray that our creator writes us in the book of life for another year.
Between the more than 600,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19 and the 20th anniversary of 9/11 this past weekend, the reminder that life is precious has been more than obvious.
One of the most important prayers is called U’Netaneh Tokef. One of the passages in the prayer is as follows:
On Rosh Hashanah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die at his predestined time and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword, who by beast, who by famine, who by thirst, who by storm, who by plague, who by strangulation, and who by stoning. Who will rest and who will wander, who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquility and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted.
Yesterday, death came close to home. To say that I am grieving and shocked is an understatement. A friend passed away. I haven’t seen her since before the pandemic and have only spoken to her once since last Spring. Now I wish I had stayed in touch. We need to tell the ones we love how we feel when they are here, not when they are gone.
Z”L my friend. RIP.
To everyone fasting, have an easy fast and may you be written into the book of life for another year.