I have heard it said, that when a person loses a child, their grieving heart creates a barbed-wire-like cocoon around itself.
Perhaps to protect it. Perhaps for fear of anyone or anything getting close enough, perhaps they’re afraid to ever feel pure joy again….
And then, whenever their heart swells with emotion of any kind, sadness, fear, excitement, pride…. The edges of their swelling heart push into the barbed wire, and they cry in pain, tears flow…..
There is no emotion that is not entangled with grief.
Exactly one week ago today my heart swelled. It swelled with more joy and pride than I thought it would ever again be capable of.
Exactly one week ago today our oldest son Nosson married our beautiful new daughter-in-law Hanna.
As I watched them prepare for their wedding day, saw Nosson standing under his wedding canopy waiting for his Bride to join him, as I walked her down the aisle, as we encircled him….my heart swelled, so much pride, so much peace.
Under a chuppah that held souls from all eternity, and one that should have truly been there with us that day. I could feel the soft yet hardened edges of my heart brushing against the barbed wire….
All the prayers I whispered for them that day, I could hear him whisper ‘Amen’.
My heart swelled with the love I have for them and that they have for each-other.
My heart swelled with the hope I have for their future of building a home of Torah, a home that will make us and Hashem proud.
“No joy is complete until the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem!”…smashing of glass….. Mazel Tov!!
My heart continued to swell with joy, real joy. And the more it swelled, the more it dug into the barbed wire surrounding it, and I fought back tears.
Many broke through.
With the setting of the sun after the Chuppah, though only known to some, began Mendel’s hebrew birthday.
As we prepared to begin the most joyful and lively part of the wedding celebration, I prepared to celebrate Mendel’s 20th birthday, one foot with him in heaven and one here on earth.
All who witnessed my smile, saw a genuine joy I didn’t know I could feel again.
There was no amount of barbed wire that would stand in the way of me celebrating Nosson & Hanna!
I could not hide the pain and tears, so I brought them with me.
Clapping, jumping, and singing we welcomed the newly-wed “King & Queen”.
As if happiness itself could put enough pressure on a bleeding heart to stop the pain….. That’s how we rejoiced!
On a dance floor that spanned & invited together both heaven and earth….. we danced.
To music that made the angels themselves join in… we sang!
Twirling, and singing. Crying, and longing. Laughter and joy, and tears.
To all our friends and family who celebrated with us, thank you, you felt it with us. You have felt it all. You knew, you held us up high, danced with our swelling bleeding hearts, feeling more joy together that we all thought we could. I saw you, I know.
To all our amazing children, you dance this dance of life with us every day, we love you more than words can say, and we swell with pride for each of you.
To Nosson & Hanna, Mazel Tov & thank you for giving us this gift of joy, of feeling so much simcha and pride . For you. With you. May Hashem bless you both with a life of overflowing brachos, good and sweet, and a heart that swells for only the most joyful of things.
And thank you Hashem, for the capacity in my heart, for the wonderful endless space that swells and feels and miraculously holds it all.