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October 24, 2003 - Image 79

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-10-24

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Koby Mandell and his parents at his bar mitzvah.

the death of her first child, a loss
that causes a numbing pain that
crouches on our heart like a beast
who is waiting to crush us, to chew
us to bits until we are nothing, dust
that the wind can blow away."
She sees her son's presence every-
where — in a cricket and in a mys-
teriously ringing doorbell. She
grieves for him at a wedding, in her
synagogue, on the streets of
Jerusalem.
In order not to frighten or depress
her children with her sudden bursts
of crying, she develops a game with
them, in which she hands them her
watch and says, "Time me, give me
one minute."
She thinks this game may help
them and her as well. "They see that
pain is something you can enter and
not be destroyed by," Mandell
-writes. "It's OK to cry, to be sad.
Accepting my pain means that I
don't have to be afraid of it. Neither
do my children or husband."

"

This is an extremely moving book.
The question is: Should it have been
written?
I always have believed that grief is
a private, even an intimate, matter
— certainly not something I would,
or could, share with people outside
my family.
But if writing and, in the process,
publicly baring her soul is cathartic
for Mandell — helping her somehow
to come to grips with what no -par-
ent can ever really accept — then
publishing The Blessings of a Broken
Heart was the right thing for her to
do.

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Sherri Mandell speaks 11:30 a.m.,
Thursday, Nov. 13, at the JCC in
West Bloomfield as part of "Lunch
with the Authors," $18 (reserva-
tions: (248) 432-5577); and again
at 7 p.m. the same day at the JCC
in Oak Park, free. (248) 432-5577.

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• Don't Forget to Place your Thanksgiving Orders

dons in show
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p.trl. Sunday, Nov. 16, at the JCC i n

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1

10/24

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2003

79

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