By Malkie Hirsch
Sometimes, the realization that my 40-year-old husband died at work will hit me really hard in middle of the day.
Sounds funny, because of course I know that it happened. But sometimes, for a small moment, when I’m doing the things I’ve always done, running the errands I’ve always run, tending to the kids who need tending, I forget that it’s happened.
It’s a sweet moment.
Where I feel like I once did.
Like any other woman.
Like a wife who runs to the cleaners, or thinks about what dinner to make tonight. Thing is, I still do a lot of what’s always been done. Which is what gets me into that conundrum in the first place.
And then, it hits.
Different things will bring clarity to my current situation.
When I have a question about a bill and I’d know that he’d have the answer.
When a wedding invitation arrives and I want to tell him.
When the garbage needs to be taken out.
Or the dishwasher needs to be filled, and I sure can’t load it as efficiently to place the same amount in the washer as he would.
When a song comes on that we both loved and I think about how the lyrics have suddenly taken on an entirely new meaning. And I’m reduced to tears because I think about him not enjoying music anymore.
Or his kids.
When we hear a clap of summer thunder and I get a look of apprehension from the kids. Because when Tatty was here, it was all going to be alright. We were safe.
But now he’s gone.
And I smile and make believe that I’m not terrified at the sheets of rain pounding the pavement outside.
But I am. So scared.
I remember learning about tefillah in seminary. The teacher explained that sometimes in the beginning, you’re mumbling the words by rote. It’s not something you’re necessarily feeling, the words aren’t connecting with your soul; you say it but don’t feel what you’re saying. But if you keep saying it, day after day, one day you start to feel the words, the meaning behind the prayers, the psalms, whatever it is you’re saying.
Is that how fear works, too? As I continue doing the things that I’ve never done, will things get easier as time passes?
Will I be able to hear Moshe’s favorite song and smile instead of cry?
Will Dovid one day have an issue he’s grappling with and instinctively come to me without thinking first of wanting to go to Tatty?
Malkie’s husband Moshe, a’h, passed away in March at the age of 40. She has been sharing her thoughts and emotions with readers on her Instagram page. We are privileged to share her writings and reflections with our readership. May Moshe’s memory be a blessing for Malkie and her beautiful family.