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Orna Raz

Day 95 Of the War: One Day We Will Be Happy Again

Only a year ago, we were full of hope
Only a year ago, we were full of hope

Sometime after my husband died I felt that many of my friends, following a decent  period had essentially expected me to move on and continue with my life. It was too early for me, I found myself adrift, unsure of what to do, yet sensing the impatience of those close to me.

There’s no comparing my personal tragedy to the national one that occurred on October 7th and the inevitable war that followed. However, just like me, the victims of that massacre, the soldiers who were killed  in the war, and the civilian casualties in Gaza have families, and for each of them, the tragedy is not only national but  intensely personal.

My husband was diagnosed with stage four cancer shortly after we signed the contract for a new home, he passed away without ever experiencing our new place. Following the Shiva period, I  started renovating the house and moved in three months later. This project saved me, at the worst time of my life, it forced me  to concentrate on practical aspects rather than only on my grief.

I was lucky, I had a home that I could renovate and start again. However, reflecting on the present circumstances, I can’t shake the thought that, as a result of the massacre and then destruction on October 7th tragedy, many grieving families confront the loss of their homes and communities, uncertain about their return. This sentiment resonates with the tragic events in Gaza, instigated by Hamas leaders but sadly becoming Israel’s responsibility. Yet, many of us Israelis are so deeply affected by our own tragedies that mustering enough empathy for their plight feels nearly impossible.

Today marks the 95th day of the war. Yesterday was especially difficult day, nine Israeli soldiers lost their lives in Gaza. Each day feels increasingly suffocating. I pray for the safe return of our hostages and for the end of this tragic war.

Meanwhile, Facebook memories keep popping up, reminding us of better times. It’s difficult to even imagine that we were happy once. Yet after my husband’s passing, my daughter said “one day we will be happy again”. I hope this holds true for these difficult times as well.

 

About the Author
I have a PhD in English literature from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and I usually write about issues concerning women, literature, culture and society. I lived in the US for 15 years (between 1979-1994). I am widow and in March 2016 started a support/growth Facebook group for widows: "Widows Move On." In October 2017 I started a Facebook group for Older and Experienced Feminists. .
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