Sunlight Sea

All Endings are Also Beginnings

by Melanie Gruenwald

A Primer on Holding Opposites

 

Today we concluded our Kabbalah of Mitch Albom class with a teaching he shares in both The Five People You’ll Meet in Heaven and The Next Person You’ll Meet in Heaven.

All endings are also beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time. ~ Mitch Albom

Something I have grappled with in my grief journey with Koby, even before he died- is this concept that we don’t know it’s our last moment until we know it is, or was….

 

Our last snow day.

A final Purim.

The last ‘normal’ birthday.

The Shabbats leading up to death.

 

We didn’t know we had our innocence until we lost it.

 

October 6.

The last hug.

Final words.

Shared meal.

 

The events of October 7 remind me of precious moments that pass through our fingers like sand. Families coming to the end of the Jewish fall harvest holiday cycle, exhausted and full from community and, of course, good food. A final shabbat dinner together. Normal family dynamics. Some moments better than others. Nobody knows it’s their last meal of normal. Last evening of normal. We expect time to continue in its rhythmic cycles. Before October 7.

 

The next morning, worlds were shattered. Destroyed. Who could have imagined?

 

How is there wholeness in this brokenness? Do we see the wholeness clearer once we’ve experienced brokenness? Experience the brightest light once we’ve experienced the deepest darkness?

 

Like chesed and gevurah, one cannot exist without the other.

 

We can’t see that this is a new beginning, because we are still experiencing the ending.

As a seed has to deconstruct before it becomes a flower. Perhaps that’s the same for us.

 

We can hold both hope and grief.

Joy and despair.

 

This is life.

The holding of opposites.

The end as the beginning. The beginning as the end.

 

5 Comments

Eileen Naiman · November 30, 2023 at 1:07 pm

Melanie So beautifully said. I enjoyed your blog. Be well and safe An early Good Shabbos. Peace and Good Health. Eileen

    Melanie Gruenwald · November 30, 2023 at 1:16 pm

    Thank you, Eileen. All the best to you, as well.

Dan Hyman · November 30, 2023 at 3:18 pm

Melanie, this was beautifully written. Thank you for sharing it. I am reminded of an image I saw recently which I will find and email to you … it is captioned “just when the caterpillar thought it’s life was over, she began to fly. “ With my best wishes to you and your wonderful family. I think of Koby often.

    Melanie Gruenwald · November 30, 2023 at 4:43 pm

    That’s beautiful- thanks. Great metaphor

Sherr6 · December 2, 2023 at 11:46 pm

Thank you for this beautiful and meaningful piece.

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