Yesterday, I heard from a mother who lost her only son under incredibly tragic circumstances. Sudden death is an entirely different experience than the slow wasting away that Karen and I endured with Ariel ZT”L. This woman, lovely and literate, told me that faith and belief in HaShem does not sustain her. She no longer believes in a loving and a just G-d. I wrote back by quoting something that Elie Wiesel said about the Shoah. I’m quoting from memory here, so forgive me if I don’t get it exactly right. Wiesel said that there are two responses to the Shoah, a cleaving to God, and a total rejection of God. Both, concluded Wiesel, are entirely comprehensible.
The bereaved mother said to me: “Time does not heal all wounds. The best you can do is learn to live with them. I take comfort in dreams and memories and I hope you do too.”
She was kind enough to send me a few lines of poetry written by Edna St. Vincent Millay:
“They have all lied who told me time would ease me of my pain. I miss him in the shrinking of the tide. I want him in the weeping of the rain.”