The Greatest Loss. The Way Forward. A Mother's Story.
My first words as a mother were, "Don’t drop him.” It was as if I knew, even before I held my first child, that I wouldn’t be able to hold onto my children.
We were the family who lost half our children; over a ten-year period, four of our eight children died, as infants, from a rare mitochondrial disorder. After the babies died, I was sure that nothing terrible could happen to us ever again.
Not to us.
Then, Yossi, our oldest child and only son, drowned six weeks before his wedding day.
As a child, Yossi loved playing with words. Once, when he was getting ready for school, I said to him, "There are bagels on the counter if you’re hungry.”
He said, "Even if I’m not.”
"The bagels are on the counter even if I’m not hungry.”
After Yossi died, I grappled with long-held beliefs: Hashem is close; everything that happens has a purpose; and our neshamos continue to exist after we leave This World. The comfort of these truths was there for me, if I was ready to accept it, but also—as I learned—"even if I’m not”…
At first, I couldn’t find my way forward. I felt like Hashem was saying, I’m asking you to do something impossible. Do it anyway.
Even If I’m Not is the story of doing the impossible.
By Devorie Kreiman