By Beth Broodo
This month, I am once again reminded of the preciousness and fragility of life. In the last 30 days, I attended the funeral, with several other women and their husbands, of a dear friend and member of our “Soul Group” and “Couples Workshop.” This woman, Adira*, was beloved among us for her big heart, sincerity, her wit, and sense of humor.
When I went to her home the week before to visit her, I told her that I would come the next day if she was up for it. She said with hope and a spirit full of life, “I will try. That is all I can do.” To my surprise and pleasure, she was up for a visit the next day. We laughed and cried, talked about her life and the world to come. She was ever-present.
Roughly two weeks after Adira’s funeral, I married off my daughter Rachel to a young man who is very well suited for her, who she calls her soulmate. At the wedding, we danced, cried tears of joy, smiled so brightly that we beamed. We each talked with others who came to celebrate with us and who spoke words of joy, validation, and connection.
Now, after the festivities are over, I am back at JFS, seeing clients, one new to me, and recently diagnosed. She said to me “I just want to get past it, be me again.”
The interesting reality is that we move through life, integrate our experiences both happy and sad, and in the process, we are ever becoming, ever finding meaning, and ever reaching greater understanding. My sister, Dr. Leslie Gutman, in her book “Resilience,” remarks that we don’t bounce back. We bounce forward. My blessing for each of us is that we should all go from strength to strength in health and in healing, with our Creator present in our minds and at the controls, living fully each day, enduring challenges (may they be small) with resiliency and hope, bouncing forward to a ripe old age.
*Name changed to maintain client confidentiality
Facilitated by Beth Broodo, MS, LPC, RYT, Binah Cancer Support Services integrates psychology and Jewish perspective into all of her services, including breast and ovarian cancer support groups, couples workshops for those who face cancer, soul groups for survivors, and individual counseling. If you or a loved one can benefit from JFS cancer services, call our intake line at (972) 437-9950 x340 or email Beth at email@example.com. Visit https://jfsdallas.org/services/adults/cancer-support/ for more information