layaBad day for the Jews yesterday.

CK called me here in Jerusalem from Canada to tell me about a bombing an hour away. In two years here, I still haven’t learned how to deal with such news.

the question is: how much do I allow myself to feel?

There seems to be two options and not a whole lot of grey in between 1) numb yourself to the point where you spend a few minutes in somber contemplation after hearing the news and then continue with your day, or 2) allow your emotional pores to be open and fully feeling the weight of this tragedy, contemplate every life lost, every family’s anguish, every person who will now live life without a limb and with shrapnel embedded in their muscle. Let it ruin your day in an attempt at solidarity.

How much can I feel? When I first came, and bombings were more frequent, I felt so much that I couldn’t function normally on those days. I think my subconscious theory was that a finite amount of grief comes into the world after something like that, and if I take some of it on, it might lesson the burden of those more directly involved.

Can you go out to a movie with friends on such a day? Does it show that ‘life continues’ or is it just indicative of a deplorable callousness? Can you go into work? Pay your bills? Smile? Continue living your life cause you still have one?

Today I will take a walk around Jeusalem becasue I still have my legs. The first friend I see I will hug because I still have my arms. And I will try not to forget my thankfulness for such things as they slide back into normalcy.

About the author

Laya Millman