Sunday, February 06, 2005

Grief and Survivorship, My "Mom" E - part 2

Earlier this week I began a series of posts about the life and work of E, the woman I am honored to call my mom even though she was not biologically my mom. (To catch up click here for part 1.)

Just 8 weeks ago tonight I was traveling to E's funeral. I can't believe that it has already be two months. In many ways her death seems like yesterday and in other ways it seems like a long time ago. I miss her deeply, I miss hearing her voice and her loving and encouraging thoughts. I miss hearing about her joy at being back in New York after decades living in the Midwest. (One of the great cruelties of her death is that she became aware of the cancer that killed her only a few months after moving to New York.) She loved the arts, the cafes, the people watching and the life of New York. Anyway, I am again getting ahead of myself in telling her story.

E's greatest quality was her open acceptance for all people. She knew and met many different kinds of people in her life and she knew no labels. Whomever she met she saw their humanity and their potential. She never saw race, size, wealth, poverty, ability, religion, orientation or other "ism" - never. She saw the inner person without judgment, without assumption. This is a trait which I try to live in my life and which I hope to share and spread.

I find her mission of kindness and her open acceptance and love for all people to be all the more remarkable when taking her early childhood into account. E was born in Lodz, Poland in 1938. Before her second birthday her life, home, safety and health were forever affected by the hate and murderous intent of Hitler and other Nazis. Her family fled for their lives (more on this later) and it changed them. The family members who fled with them survived, but no one else. They left behind everything they had. And yet, what did she take away from this experience and from the way it changed the family? To love all people and not hate. What an example. If only the leaders of the world could have a similar viewpoint.
E lived a life of love and kindness. Her kindness will forever remain a part of my heart. I hope that a bit of it has touched you. May kindness and friendship spread throughout the world like the ripples from a pebble dropped in a pond.

May E's memory be a blessing.

No comments: