As we head into the holiday season, I am acutely aware of how much different this year is going to be than previous ones. I will be celebrating without my mom for the first time. My mother died in January 2021, and I'm still dealing with the unexpected waves of grief that wash over me, sometimes out of nowhere. As I head into this first winter holiday season without her, I'm not quite sure I know what to expect, other than everything is going to be very different.
The day is a gut-wrenching one, and yet one profoundly important in the life of a country. It is a day when we let the pain in, when we listen to and internalize the myriad stories, when we understand that their fight is also our fight.
My mother’s answer to hate is love. When I asked her what she wishes for herself and for the world, she said, “For myself good health, so I can be good to others. For the world, peace not war. No bad person wins in the end. What did Hitler achieve?”