In April-May we mark the Israeli Memorial day. All the soldiers who died during their military service.
My grandmother’s brother, Tolik, was killed in the Independence War.
My grandmother was a couple of years younger than him.
As a child, I knew Tolik: his photo stood in the second row of the bookcase in my grandmother’s house.
I always knew my grandmother had had a brother.
I never knew how much his death had influenced her, her childhood and her life.
Only in the past years have I begun to understand more and more that I’m the third generation of bereavement.
That the loss of Tolik influenced not only my grandmother and her parents,
But also, my mother and therefore me, as well.
When she entered my clinic, she came because she had not succeeded in creating a good bond with her 20-year-old son.
She came to take care of the relationship between them.
And she told me, “by the way,” about a deep pain she carried inside her. A pain she had never taken care of.
A pain that influenced who she was.
She didn’t know what was the source of the pain, only that it was there.
So, I then asked her a simple question: how many brothers did she have?
Five brothers: one of whom was killed while in the army. She was 10 years old.
I believe that our bonds with our children are built, among others, on the relationships we formed in our childhood.
The loss of an older, admired brother and a household that suddenly stopped:
This is the definition of a trauma.
The roles changed. Suddenly the girl had to look after her parents - make them happy, relieve them from unnecessary chores, not let them sink into their grief.
Suddenly, the visible girl disappears. Her loss and her grief have no place in front of her parents’ pain.
When a child gets a message from her surroundings that there is no room for her pain, that her role is to take care of the pain of others, she cancels herself. She loses herself in her parents’ pain. She tries to save her parents.
No child can save their parents.
No child can heal the pain of loss.
Recognizing this pain of a ten-year-old child, giving herself room for the loss and her private grief helped her in healing the source of the pain.
Her ability to see herself as a ten-year-old girl helped her in seeing herself as a mother and opened a bond between her son and her.
This week we commemorate Memorial Day.
This week, I will travel with my children to Tolik’s cemetery (don’t worry, we will be the only ones in this cemetery).
Only in my early 40’s have I begun to understand the enormous and unconscious influence that Tolik had on my life.
My children do not have to wait as many years.
By healing my wounds and my ancestors wounds that I hold within me I can cut the chain of pain which is woven into my family energy.