In 5780, I became a first-time mom … under a global pandemic. Due to the pandemic, I had to labor and give birth in a mask. Our family could not meet our first child on the timeline we had imagined. And, we had to reimagine the systems we had in place to care for her in the first months of life. But I’m not alone in these experiences. Lifecycle events, birthdays, graduations, work, school, and major life milestones all looked different from their original plans as we faced the last six months of 5780.
From this experience and in helping counsel others through their experiences, I learned:
That crying on the phone can be deeply healing;
That it’s okay not to be okay;
That we can sit in silence, pause our work, and the walls of our world won’t come crashing down;
That Judaism provides an incredible platform of ritual to keep us grounded, even when our practice is done entirely at home;
That people in our community really care about one another;
That small, thoughtful gifts, can make really big impacts;
That people are resilient.
As we enter the unknown of 5781, I pray that our world finds the global healing we so desperately need. I pray that those who are hurting the most find the courage to reach out for help, and that there still people and organizations there to provide them with what they need. And I pray that our communities survive these circumstances and can strengthen one another into the future.
Rabbi Rachael Klein Miller is an associate rabbi at Temple Emanu-El.