A Dark Entrance to the Light

As Jews, we know loss all too well, but I fear we may have forgotten how to create compassionate enough spaces to experience emotional pain and grieve together. Our coping strategies have gotten the best of us and we have paid the price in terms of connection to ourselves and each other.
When our Sages suggest that Mashiach is born on the afternoon of the Jewish calendar’s most painful day they are teaching us a profound lesson:
The natural process of grieving loss leads to greater joy and wholeness. To redemption.
Wisely, we have a day dedicated to mourning and grieving national loss. Unwisely (albeit, understandably) as individuals and communities we have become quite skilled at avoiding, suppressing, dismissing, intellectualizing and even spiritualizing away its emotional experience.
Simply put, we don’t move into emotional pain well and that isolates us.
Yes, sadly, perhaps there has just been too much pain for our people. Our system is flooded. And still, this prevents us from moving into the deeper place that emotional pain points to. Ultimately, it disconnects us from our vital wholeness and we become less compassionate, authentic and present for ourselves and each other.
We need kind, compassionate spaces to grieve our many losses together. Spaces where judgment and even strength are replaced by openness and vulnerable connection. This is difficult but life-giving work. And we can’t do this alone. This is the work of friends, family and community. Each of us has endured a tremendous amount of loss. Everything from the tragic loss of loved ones to the loss of vulnerable, innocent parts of our being. My hope is that we can join people like Russ Shulkes and his Mourning Nights project and continue to normalize the experience of grieving loss in whatever way it is experienced. Allowing the sitting connectedly with each other to come before any attempts to show how this is “all for the best” or otherwise “fix” or redeem the situation. True healing will naturally flow from our courage and willingness to be with the experience of loss, with each other, as we trust in the Morning Light that will come to bless us.