Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Meeting of Peace and Reconciliation

The mourning heart receiving; grief drawing # 3"

On 9th of Adar, about three months after 'the accident' that took the life of my mother of blessed memory's life, I met in the lawyer's office with the woman who had driven the car that hit my mother.

I did not think of this meeting as an act of forgiveness, as it is not my place to forgive. That is between her and her G!D. However, my intention was to offer her information about my family and how we are coping and to tell her our perspective on what happened and let her make the decision about her own suffering.

This was a meeting whose general intention was for peace...of mind and heart, and reconciliation with our hearts that might be wandering, alone, distraught, feeling abandoned and bad as why else would such a horrific thing happen to one if you did not deserve it and was being punished.

My daughters and I had wanted this meeting, after all the legal decisions were finalized. We had heard through the lawyers that she was distraught and all of us wanted her to know us. We viewed what had happened as accident and we were grieving deeply for the death and our loss of my Mother and their Nana.

The meeting went well, as there was transformation. Buber might interpret as it went from an I-it relationship to an I-thou relationship; from 'the woman who drove the car' to B, mother, devout and pious, wife of a church elder, Registered Nurse, recent emigrant, tender heart.

It was awkward at first, no matter how much my training I have, the crossing of the threshold into the unknown is often slow and cautious. I said my usual prayer 'Mah Yakar Hasedecha, How Precious is Your Loving-kindness' to assure myself that I was not alone. I wanted conscious recognition that I wanted and needed Divine Presence, i could not and did not want to do this alone.

We talked for about 35 minutes and went from knots to flowing strings, from politeness to authentic warmth. And toward the end of our time I held her hands and sang to her my rendition of Leonard Cohen's Halleluyah that had been ringing in my ears.

'We will do and we will understand' the Hebrews say to Moshe. Sometimes you have to do something even though you do not know why and have no agenda or imagined outcome. That is how I felt about this meeting. And now that it is over, I am pleased with my trust in my sense of rightness and courage to follow through. I was very brave to meet with the woman who drove the car that hit my mother that caused her ultimate death. My bravery led me to know me in a deep way. I had circumcised my heart in public and my hope is the world is a better place because of these moments in time.

When i came home, I dressed in warm and comfy clothes and drank hot tea and sat on the floor reading over the condolence cards that were sent to my family. I wanted to be close to the people who knew my mother and I cried deeply and spoke to my mother's Spirit that I was sure was comforting me.

Blessings of the Vav: I could not have done this is i had held to a right-wrong, good-bad, way of thinking. I would still be in a vicious cycle of not knowing and connected to someone i would never know. Only with the teaching of the Vav and trust that not knowing is an OK place to be and with the support of my daughters proving that this only child is never physically alone and knowing that my Mother, of blessed memory, is always with me cheering me on in her silent unique way could i have known a blessing today. I am sure that being a Vav-nik- allows this heart to know love. Maybe this hope i hold onto with such tenacity is not unfounded.