May 30, 2024
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May 30, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

I know that there are those who would prefer that I no longer write about the newest challenges that I am experiencing in my life. I tried to do so last week. Yet just a few minutes ago as I made Havdala in the very same tune that I heard my beloved chant for so many years, I was overwhelmed by the continued emptiness and loneliness that I awaken with each day. I sang “Eliyahu” as we did each week after I completed the tefillah and I found myself still in a state of disbelief. This is so not right.

Tonight I wondered what to eat for supper. The easiest is a bowl of cereal or a yogurt. Instead I opted for a slice of pizza. Cook for me? That really seems ridiculous. I have begged my kids to please come and shop in my pantry. Yes I was a Costco shopper. If I purchased two Kirkland canola oils, as they are packaged together, it did not at all seem strange as I knew that I would shortly use them up as I cooked for us and for my friends and family when they visited with us.

Although I have invited my children multiple times to eat here they are certainly more comfortable to eat at home and have me join them. I look at the cans, boxes and assorted food items that I always took pride in having at my fingertips, and their abundance now contributes to my loneliness. Little gets moved from the shelves and most just sit and wait to be used.

Shortly I will contribute much to the local food pantry. I would rather buy individual items than look at so much sitting in my pantry and not being touched. It is all part of the loneliness syndrome. To some it might seem ridiculous but to me cooking and preparing was a pleasurable task that I no longer do. Yes, I do bake the occasional cookies or treats for my children but am usually told that nothing is necessary. I can make a roast, chicken or another dish but it is a “favor” which is allotted to me. It is not easy to go from feeling necessary to feeling as though what you do is really quite unimportant.

As the beeping continues each day from either the smoke detector or the carbon monoxide detector I just listen to it as I can no longer climb on the ladder to check the batteries. I am assuming that it is just the replacement of a battery that is necessary and do not feel it important enough to warrant another visit from a grandchild to check it for me. How many times can you ask for help?

Drawers and files remain closed. The major closet of my beloved’s clothes is full of everything. His shirts, his suits, his sweaters, his gym bag, his slippers, his ties, everything lies dormant. I opened his closet on Shabbat morning and ran my fingers along the tops of the clothing below the hangers. Is this something that I am supposed to forget and move on with? Sorry folks. I am not ready to do that.

Each morning I look at his shtender and remember all of the many times that he stood there and davened with enough kavanah for all of us together. I run my fingers along the wood and cry. So many tefilos were associated with this shtender. No one that I have ever met has davened with the passion of my beloved Mordechai. Now I am left with all of these reminders of his daily life and the vestments that he touched. This is not easy. No, it is not important to move on and I am not interested or ready to do that. One cannot take 56 years of wondrousness and toss it over their shoulder.

The loneliness permeates the depth of my soul. Ideas and topics with no one to discuss, recipes with the one you love most not here to taste, driving and sharing the beauty of nature with your beloved not here, waking and going to sleep alone, talking to no one, giggling and laughing, whispering, private “in” jokes have disappeared. Havdala for one is just one of the simplest challenges.


Nina Glick can be reached at [email protected]

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