I went to make a shiva call today and was really nervous about it. Someone I work with lost her brother very suddenly this past week. He
I told her some things people had said to our family when we were sitting shiva that I knew felt comforting. As I spoke, I saw her eyes getting teary...I almost felt like I would burst out crying a few times while I was there but I held myself back even though my heart was totally aching just to be there.
She passed around some pictures of her brother from when he was younger and at his bar mitzvah - he was such a happy and cute boy! So I told her and her mother that these pictures bring such comfort because all a parent wants is for her child to be happy and you see you did yours - he was happy!
And then I told her some other things...and I thought I would walk out of there bawling but surprisingly I felt so much better after! Even though of course I was teary eyed when I left but I didn't feel "down" I felt okay.
Baruch Hashem it was better than I expected, especially since I don't know her so so well, just here and there but I had really wanted to go because I felt I could relate to the pain she is in...Hashem is so good! He gave me the ability to comfort someone else somewhat while she is in pain - and only because I went through something similar!!
And yes, it does hurt every time I have a little reminder about my brother. The pain goes away but it comes back again from time to time. But when someone else goes through a loss and it's someone I know or I have to go to a shiva house then it all starts to come back to me...
Her brother also had a freaky story - it was a real shock to the family because he was 100% fine and then on Shabbos he got a virus, then he stopped breathing and then collapsed. Hatzalah came but there was nothing they could do! They now have a medical term for it, they call it "walking pneumonia" - but really it's just something that cannot be explained, could not have been prevented and there's nothing anyone could do except just accept that this is what Hashem wanted.
So I mentioned something that I've written here before. When Hashem gave the malach hamaves his job, he did not want to take it because he said that everyone will always look down at him. So Hashem said, don't worry, whenever you take someone's life, people wont even notice that it's you because they will be so busy figuring out the story and blaming everyone else...they'll forget that it's really you who is behind it. And that's what happens - we blame the doctors, the sickness, the car...without realizing that when someone's time is up and when something is meant to happen, it will happen! If you really look at this story, there's no way to explain it! This boy's time was up and there was nothing that could be done! We can blame the virus, give it a medical term but the truth is that it was his time...
It's so sad but Hashem has His reasons why He does things and we don't understand. This boy fulfilled his mission in this world and now it's time for him to get rewarded for all the good things he did while he was alive! We should all take a message from this to take advantage of the time we have while we are alive in this world and do the best we can and the most we can...because a person never knows when their last moment will be!
I was also so amazed by the mother, how she had such strength to say, "Hashem gave us a gift and now he decided it was time to take him back..." which yes we believe it's true that our time in this world is a gift but to hear it from someone going through something so difficult, in the midst of her pain, that is amazing and that is inspiring!!
May we be able to learn from this story and take the message so that this will be the last tragedy we hear about. The next thing we should hear is the shofar of moshiach so that we can have techiyas hameisim and all families, parents, children, brothers and sisters will be reunited!