Sharing stories

After taking Mia for a first pediatric appointment with Dr Peer we sat on Rachel's lawn and talked about travel and day school with all the kids running around, then Rachel brought out some delicious organic tomatoes, cucumbers and carrots in balsamic vinegar.

The connections between people keep deepening as we speak with others. Life is full of synchronicity whose meaning is open to interpretation but which often offers comfort.

Today the 2-4pm visit started with Arthur and his daughter Lisa. Arthur is a teacher colleague and mentor to my Mom. I met Lisa's husband Mike and their two boys Kyle and Jake for the first time. It was wonderful to see the family, listen to Mike's CD for kids and talk about music. Sasha was booked to take a course with Mike when she had a bleeding episode last summer. Arthur knows loss of a kind I cannot imagine and I was happy to have him and Lisa to myself, without sharing them with my parents.

Rabbi Dietch visited and we spoke about souls and gilguls and he gave us a book on the Labovitcher Rabbi Shneersen. We do not participate in Chabad but his easy presence was comforting.

Darryl Landou visited and I hadn't seen him in twenty years, since Temple Emanu-El swept the 3 top places in a bible quiz in Montreal. He is now a mediator and specialist in workplace conflict resolution and human rights. After he left his mom arrived; Barbara is a lawyer, doctor and now mediator who helped start middle east dialogue groups. Her daughter Nicky wrote a play called Territories which was up for a Dora award tonight and that explores the death of Marni Kimelman in a random act of senseless violence while she visited Israel during a summer vacation: a pipe bomb was laid beside her on a Tel Aviv beach. Her parents then created Marni's Lounge at Sick Kids for older kids to play games and relax and hang out. We walked Sasha passed Marni's Lounge almost every day but it was not a service for Sasha so we did not have a connection to it. It was powerful to now hear of the play by Marni's close friend Nicky. Then Lauren visited, a dietician at Mt Sinai and a longtime friend of Pamela, who also knew Marni. Later than night after the service Emma mentioned that Nicky, the playright, was family through husband Paul Lampert. From a room to a life cut short to friends of the family to questions that each family who suffers trauma must confront. To questions like those her friends had to face: when a friend is no longer here, when and how is it ok to accept that their own live's will continue on, without forgetting the deceased. Marni's death was a tragedy. What meaning we ascribe to it must follow from our own experience and interests. Marni was around Pamela's age and went to the same school so Pamela spoke of her while we were in Sick Kids. Barbara made real Marni's families struggle with the great pain of loss and anguish by offering comfort to sick children. What a gift.

Kenny lead the shiva service at 8pm and many friends visited. It was wonderful to see Marilyn and Sandy from the Cardiac Ward. Pamela and I are very interested in finding a way to keep a connection to Sick Kids. One area of interest is helping parents support each other. The doctors and nurses are working hard on complex patient illnesses and also have to respond to parents who engage them with questions about options they hear about or, as we did, found on the internet. After the shiva, after we have had time to rest, we can find out what parent groups exist through the hospital and whether a parent bulletin board, managed and powered by parents, would help strengthen patient and family healing.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous1:46 AM

    This blogsite has brought amazing understanding to people who had little idea of Sasha's courage and who couldn't imagine how you and Pam accomplished all that you did. Your journey is an incredible one in which we, as grandparents, have also participated. It has changed our lives and will forever have an impact. Sasha is indelibly in our hearts and memories.
    You mention trying to help parents at Sick Kids or 4D. I strongly urge you to use this blog as a basis of a book dedicated to Sasha Bella. You would add other stories, such as the making of the decision to take Sasha home and stop interventions or how you coped with problems as well as the wonderful aspects of hospital life, how you worked so fiercely to be Sasha's advocate etc etc. This book could be a practical manual as well as one that helps on the emotional level. Wouldn't Sasha love your sharing of her traits and challenges that made you strong? My wish is that this will come to fruition. We love you all alot and go to sleep at night smiling at the thought of Mia's miraculous arrival.