Dear Mrs. Bluth,
What is going on in this world? Who are we to believe? Do we vaccinate ourselves, our children and chance the unknown, do we defy the Rabbonim who say we must and listen to those that say we shouldn’t and chance our children not be allowed to attend yeshiva or Bais Yaakov because of the new mandates? Are yeshivos going to be allowed to open at all and what will become of our children if they don’t? I am so confused and anxious because it has changed who we are as parents, as spouses and as people.
I have noticed drastic changes in my children. They are no longer the happy, bright, inquisitive youngsters they were going back two and a half years ago. The teenagers have become sullen and morose, the laughter gone from their domain. Our thirteen-year-old son is bitter and defiant because he was cheated out of a bar mitzvah we had planned and saved for because he is the middle child who really needed this for his self-esteem. The three younger ones have become behavioral problems, each with their own issues and frustrations about masks, social distancing and death, something they did not have to deal with in life before. Our marriage has suffered as well. My husband has become short-tempered where he was once the mildest, most grounded individual I knew, for fear of losing his job as his company is teetering on the brink of Chapter 11 and I have lost all sense of how to cope. I have become depressed and the bubbly, happy personality I had has vanished.
All you hear in the news is depressing and demeaning. There is nothing good to report anywhere in the world. Airports close every few months with the appearance of a new viral variant and whole cities and states are locked down.
I’m so sorry to be laying all this in your lap, but I have no one to talk to and you are a constant source of good advice in my life so please find the words to help me collect all the shattered pieces of my life and that of my family so that we can find hope that this life will, at some near future date, return to what we had before. I know there are others out there who must be going through the same things we are and your words will have a healing, hopeful affect for all of us. Thank you for being there, and thank you for caring.
My heart is with everyone because everyone, without exception, has been affected by this upheaval. I have never before been inundated with so many children as clients and the sadness they are enduring during these turbulent times. But we must never give up hope that there is a yeshua coming and that Hashem is readying us for it. I wish I could explain the ‘why’ it all happened as I never did really well in the Navi department, therefore I cannot pretend to know precisely why we were visited with this magayfa. However, I can tell you that just as it had a beginning, it will also have an end with a powerful revelation that if we choose wisely with our gift of bechirah, we will know exactly what to do to have the end come sooner than later.
To deal with the issues at hand at this moment, you will need to, first, work on yourself because you are the center of the universe of your home. If you fall, everyone falls, but if you find the strength, the emunah and the bitachon to help yourself rise above the depressed state that prohibits you from helping your family because you can’t help yourself, then you will set an example for your husband and children to emulate. Treat them with love, patience and understanding and calm will set in where confusion now dominates. Inadvertently, you will be calming and reassuring yourself as you are doing it to and for them.
It would help you greatly in this endeavor if you had someone to talk to so as to stay steady toward your goal of helping your family regain their former selves to a great degree. You could use the support and direction of a therapist, if that is available to you, or a good and close friend who is in a stronger frame of mind to help you stay on course. As mothers, there are no limits to what we will do to help our families and to that end, we will succeed in welcoming the end of this horrible episode and be ready for the wonderful life that yet awaits us when it does.
I wish all my readers the strength they need to deal with their woes, the understanding that there are better days ahead and the belief in HaKodosh Boruch Hu who will never let His children falter. I know that day is not too far off, so hang in there and live each day to the fullest. The times they are a changing.