He is tall and slender with a crooked nose, big eyes, full lips, a steady professional job, and a neatly button-down shirt. His ordinariness is so extradinary it makes my heart ache. He belly laughs at my goofy, well-timed joke. His wedding ring laughs at me when it bumps against the table.
I am unsure what hurts more: the baby at the next table or him.
Both of them hold someone else's joy and on another day, in another week, in another year, neither would grab my attention with such strangling unyielding force.
And oddly, it's his force that pulls me more than the baby. Because, well, through all of this, my lack of a partner has left me emptier than I've ever known I could be. Even while pregnant, the loneliness grabbed me and pulled me down forcing the howl out of my throat.
And don't tell me about the kind of loneliness you feel when your partner isn't really your partner. I know every nook and cranny. I know every sharp edge.
But I can gather as many family and friends around me as I want. And they can give me strength, but this loss is mine and mine alone. There is no other hand to hold, no other heart that's broken, no one to even feel annoyed at because they aren't grieving the way in want them to grieve.
I don't even know how to grieve.
But I know how to want and wish. And that ordinary looks so good. It looks safe.
And I am no longer numb.
Parashat Mishpatim: Radical Empathy
4 months ago