The title of this article is a phrase from John Green’s exceptional “The Fault in Our Stars,” and it has never left my mind.
The pain of loss is an experience that transcends words, a sensation that delves deep into the soul, leaving an indelible mark. It’s an unseen wound, yet felt with overwhelming intensity, a shadow that looms over every thought and moment.
This pain intensifies when confronted with tragedies of unimaginable magnitude, such as the one that befell Israel on October 8th, 2023. It becomes a collective lament, a silent scream echoing in the hearts of all those who feel the loss, even those who never personally knew the victims.
As an Oleh Hadash from Brazil, I felt this profound pain personally. I came to Israel in search of myself, seeking meaning in a home. And now, this land that promised refuge and reunion is steeped in endless sorrow. Every step I take in my kibbutz, every glance exchanged with familiar faces, all seem tinged with this shadow of grief and uncertainty.
Each life lost carries many dreams, hopes, and possibilities that will never come to fruition. They are stories abruptly cut short, voices silenced, smiles that will never be seen again. And the absence of these lives creates a void that cannot be filled, a deafening silence that resonates in every corner of the kibbutz and within every recess of my soul.
The pain of loss is not just an emotion; it’s a physical experience. It weighs heavy on the chest, stifles the breath, and clouds the vision. It’s a constant reminder of the fragility of existence, the ephemerality of life, and the inevitability of death.
And amidst this pain, questions arise for which there are no answers. Why? How? What could have been done differently? These questions spin in an unending cycle, fueling anguish and despair.
I apologize to my readers if, in these last two days, I’ve ceased discussing politics. Everything seems so inconsequential at the moment. My initial reaction was to vehemently declare that Netanyahu must resign, but I soon realized I was mistaken. He needs to clean up the mess he’s made, save the still-living compatriots, and retrieve the bodies of those coldly murdered. We’ll discuss the rest later. The pain is too overwhelming to consider anything else right now. In times like these, priorities shift, and the heart takes precedence over the mind. We must first heal, then reflect.