Sep 29, 2011

"Because I could not stop for death, he kindly stopped for me"

It was exactly 9:30 when my cell phone started to ring. Right in the middle of a meeting. A school meeting in which I was discussing the situation of two young children whose only family, their mom is dying. The children who go to school hungry with no or very little lunch and who need to get ready to say goodbye to their mom. All through the meeting my heart was filled with this enormous sense of sadness, emptiness... I tried to remember the old woman's words in the Family Group Conferencing Training that I attended a couple of days ago: this is our story, we have written it and we need to own it. I thought these two little folks have written a pretty tough story for themselves. I thought about my role. How on earth can I make it easier for them?

I dont pick up my phone in meetings unless it is from my son's school. It was an unknown caller. I turned my cell phone off, apologized to the people in the meeting, discussed who is going to do what and who is going to call who. When I opened the car door the phone rang again. An unknown caller was trying to get a hold of me. I picked up the phone. It was my friend from Iran. She told me she missed me. We haven't seen each other in 5 years. I miss you too, I told her. She told me she felt she needed to talk to me after the news about Nahal. Who? Nahal? What about Nahal I asked. She was surprised I hadn't heard. I told her I try to avoid the News from Iran. I need to protect my heart I said... She said Nahal committed suicide.

Nahal was Behnam's girl friend. Behnam was a human rights activist. He was imprisoned and after his release he committed suicide.Why? I bet you dont want to know what happens in Iran jails if you dont already know. She was not his wife, she was not the mother of his children, she was not his fiance. She had no status, no legal rights. No one recognized her pain. The law of the country has decided that a piece of paper gives identity to women. She was made silent by the stupidity of that culture. She wrote quietly in her blog of how she missed him, how she felt it was unjust, how she wanted to be with him, how painful it was to wake up to face the reality every day. And one day she decided she wanted to die. And she died.

I told my friend I had to go. I didnt. I just had nothing else to say. I told her I would call her back later.
I went to work. I smiled at everybody, talked to a couple of co workers, did some phone calls, did a couple of reports and drove home over lunch time. I hid under my blanket and cried. I looked at her picture and cried. I read her blog and cried. Lunch time was over. I washed my face. I put a light make up on and went to work. I did some more phone calls, did some more reports, looked at her picture, didnt cry because I was at work and then went to pick up my son.

How was your day mama? he asked me. It was good love, I told him. And let the his smile and smell wrap around me like a shelter from the reality.