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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review December 18, 2012 / 5 Teves, 5773

Newtown, Connecticut --- Our Grief, Because We Are The Family Of Humankind

By Russell Friedman




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Certain events have the power to propel us into an emotional numbness, as if a hidden thermostat inside our hearts shuts us off. The pain is too much to bear.

On Sunday, December 26, 2004, we bore witness to such an event. The recorded sights and sounds of the Indian Ocean Tsunami entered our consciousness on the all-too-graphic wings of televised news reports. As with the repeated images of the World Trade Towers collapsing to earth, we were left with feelings that seemed impossible to accommodate.

Those two paragraphs were the opening of an article we wrote in the aftermath of the tsunami that left 230,000 dead in its wake. The title of the article was because We Are The Family Of Humankind.

On Friday, December 14th, 2012, another shock wave hit us with the news from Newtown, Connecticut. Though the number of people who died is radically different from the tsunami, the preciousness of each life lost hits home with exponential force, regardless of their ages. Once more we must lead with, Because We Are The Family Of Humankind.

We've used that title or subtitle many times—too many times now. We also used it in describing our response 9/11, to the Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster, and the back-to-back Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the devastation they wrought.

In each of those events, we wrote about the fact that most of us never knew any of the victims of those tragedies, whether they were caused by nature at its most violent, man at his worst, or in the case of the Shuttle, pure accident. Even though we may not have known anyone who died in those events, we were all dramatically, emotionally affected. Because we are all children of someone. Some of us are brothers or sisters; husbands or wives. We are family. We are friends. And every relationship we have is precious.

When we hear tragic news, we naturally think about what we might be feeling if it were one or more of our people who were taken from us. And if we're not directly involved, our hearts go to the people who've been in our lives, but are no longer here.

We write the same headline today Because We Are Still The Family Of Humankind.

The Holiday Season Collides with Grief

The travesty of Newton puts grief in the forefront of our hearts and minds. There are many families who will sit down to holiday dinner tables this year very much aware of someone missing, someone who has always been there, who died during the past year.

For others it will be the first holiday table after a divorce, and though their feelings are caused by a different loss, their emotions are none-the-less powerful.

Some people will want to skip that holiday dinner, fearful of the feelings they know will surface. We hope they don't stay away. We hope they not only come to the dinner, but that they talk openly about missing the person who's gone.

Tears and Laughter and Stories Go Together

My mother died nineteen years ago the day before Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving day, I was on a plane flying to Florida, still shocked at my mother's sudden death. In the daze my family was in, with brothers, sisters, and grandkids arriving from all over the country at all hours, we didn't have a formal Thanksgiving dinner that year.

The next year was the first holiday gathering for me after my mother had died. We were at a friend's house with about 20 people we knew. When we all sat down at the table, I took a liberty and stood up and offered the first toast. With tears in my eyes, and a crack in my voice, I toasted my mom—and everyone else who was missing.

Most of the people at that table had never met my mom, but one after the other, everybody stood up and toasted someone from their life. And there were tears, and there was laughter, and there were stories. And nobody was forgotten. It's sad enough when those we love are no longer physically here. It's even sadder when we don't talk about them.

It is now a tradition that no matter where we are, I make the first toast and start the emotional ball rolling—Because We Are All Part Of The Family of Humankind.

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Russell Friedman is executive director of The Grief Recovery Institute in Sherman Oaks, and co-author of "The Grief Recovery Handbook," "When Children Grieve" and "Moving On."




© 2012, Russell Friedman

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