Monday, July 18, 2011

Moving On

I can't sleep. Every time I close my eyes, Leiby is there...walking home by himself, happy and carefree as only a young child can be...and then so scared when he realizes he is lost. I feel his fear, and my heart hurts.

I force myself to think about something else. I don't want my mind to go any further. I don't want to imagine what he must have felt later. I try to think happy thoughts. But everything leads back to the same thing.

And somehow, in my half asleep/ half awake state, that little boy becomes my little boy, and I am jolted awake, my heart pounding, my breath coming in short, shallow gasps.

I close my eyes, and I visualize how "he fought back a little bit", according to the killer's confession. I see him struggling, fighting for his life, and of everything I read, that is what causes me the most anguish, and I am tormented by nightmares. I can't bear to think about that sweet little boy's terror and feeling of helplessness. And I can't sleep.

I get up and go to my little boy's room. I kiss him gently, careful not to wake him. And I'm grateful that he's safe in his bed.

I think about Leiby's mother. How is a mother supposed to go on after this? How can she cope with the pain? How will life ever return to normal?

I can't sleep. I am afraid to close my eyes. I am sad.

And yet...this morning I smiled.

I don't remember what it was that made me smile. But it bothered me. How can I smile? How was I able to forget for that moment...and smile?

And I know that I will smile again tomorrow. Laugh, even. All of us will. The pain will dull...the memories will fade. Time heals. Life will go on. That is the way of the world.

And I'm sad.


  1. MW-You're not the only one who has trouble sleeping these past few days. Everyone I talk to feels the same way.

    Yes, you smiled today. You'll smile again tomorrow and remember that this is not a reason to be sad. You can be sad about what happened but don't be sad that you are happy. Hashem wants us to be happy. He wants us to move on. We should take something from what happened but we should not be depressed and feel guilty for smiling and being happy again.

    Someone once told me-this kind of mood is the work of the yetzer hara. When something so terrible as this happens, he tries to keep us sad for as long as possible. Because when a person is happy, they are able to do mitzvos with joy and they feel alive. But a person who is unhappy and thinks sad thoughts all the time is not going to be the same productive individual. And this is what the yetzer hara thrives on.

    It's a hard balance. Every time I think about this story, I get into this "mood" and I know that I will have to move on. When I'm happy, I know I can do so much more than when I'm thoughtful, pensive and sad...thinking about this whole story with all the details.

    You are the mother of a very precious family. Your children need you to be happy for them. They need to be able to look up to you and they'll be following you. If you can't do it for yourself, do it for them!

    Wishing you hatzlacha moving on...we are all having a hard time with this and it's a big struggle. But you can get yourself to be happy with that real smile that doesn't hurt on the inside.

  2. I'm having a hard time too!
    The worse part is that I DO know what it feels like to feel threatened by a psycho as back In 2007 I barely managed to escape a deranged man who tried to pull me into an empty elevator, my ordeal lasted under five minutes ,yet time stood still and B'H I managed to escape unscathed! yet the anxiety and terror were undescribable. I cope with the loss of Leiby by focusing on the fact that he is now in olam ha Emet next to Tzadikim,and by davening for his family and klal yisrael that we be reunited soon when moshiach comes speedily in our days!! hugs .

  3. I am still very distraught. I don't live in the area, and I can't imagine how much worse it is for the people there. But we must continue smiling, as that is what Hashem would want.

  4. Devorah...

    Thank you.
    I think that thinking sad thoughts and being depressed may be the work of the yetzer hara. This is different. This is mourning. Is it possible that now may be time to mourn? Shouldn't there be a mourning period? How do we know when that time is up, and we must move on?


    I try to focus on that. He is in a good place. He's not in pain now. But I can't get past what he went through until he got there. And his mother... I can't even imagine her pain.


    He was ours. All of ours. It doesn't matter where we live. But,'s all around us here.
    I hope this is not taken the wrong way, but how can we be so sure that we know what Hashem wants?

  5. MW, remember the childhood song of "Mitzva Gedolah L'hiyos B'simcha Tamid?" Hashem wants us to be happy. Feeling bad or sad beyond what's normal is not what He wants. He wants us to change, to take a message out of whatever happens but not that it should pull us down. So yes, we'll move on and smile again and laugh, because that's what we're meant to do but hopefully we'll hang on to the messages that we no doubt learned from this horrific tragedy.

  6. There is a mourning period where we stop and reflect. And slowly, like you said, the pain dulls, that means it's time to move forward. We should hold to the message and lessons we learned, and live life to the fullest.