Pesach is a time spent with family. In fact it is the most family oriented holiday. The mitzvah of the holiday is to “tell over to your family”. It’s a time to share, to enjoy in each other’s company, to catch up with each other’s lives, and reminisce.
But what happens when spending time with your family is not that joyful time, or does not bring up good feelings. Do we not go to the family Seder? Do we avoid going home? Do we make up every excuse we can think of, not to be with our family, just to avoid those feelings?
To face a family, where all your siblings are married (even your baby brother) and you are single. Yes, your family members care and love you. But they don’t take away the pain, unintentionally they are adding to it. At twenty seven years old, you are not interested in being the in-house babysitter anymore. Comments like ‘Next year, you’ll be sitting at the Seder with your husband,’ is like the sound of a broken record. You just want to cover your ears and walk away. Being surrounded by family only makes the pain of loneliness that much stronger.
When year after year, your family members keep having more and more Mazal Tov’s, and you are waiting for yours. You have been K’vatter at almost all the family Brisim the past six years. What else can your sister-in-law’s talk about besides for the greatest bargain on diapers at Target? Yeah, it’s nice and thoughtful they all are davening for you, but do they know how painful it is? They cannot relate to the empty painful feeling. It seems like to everyone else, it is so simple. Why does this seem so hard and complicated?
It’s hard. Period.
To all those in pain who will be sitting at the Seder with your families, know you are not alone. Yes, it hurts and the pain is so deep, being with your family can be like saltwater poured over an opened wound.
If you’re thinking of not joining your family because of the pain you are in, it’s normal and it’s ok. Others may not understand, but it’s a valid excuse.
Before you do decide, let me just ask. Is your pain stronger or are you stronger? Is the pain going to stop you from joining your family who loves you? Are you going to let the pain win? Are you going to let the pain be the driver? Kick the pain out of the driver’s seat, and you drive. You are strong.
Pain is caused by thoughts. It’s hard, and takes a lot of work but you can change your thoughts, which will change how you see your reality. Thoughts are like a turning wheel. It keeps on moving and changing. Painful thoughts will creep their way in, but as quick as it came in, you can spin the wheel and change your thought to a positive one.
I don’t understand your exact situation, but I can relate to your pain. Last year I did not join my family. The pain was too great. This year the pain is still there and strong. But I am determined that this year I will be stronger than my pain. I will be behind the wheel. I will focus on what I do have, what I can give, and this path of mine was carefully designed and picked just for me.
Be thankful for your family, for your wacky siblings, your loving parents, for your caring husband, for your oblivious and happy nieces and nephews. For your health and your families health. For today, for tomorrow. For the joyous times, and for the love Hashem is surrounding you with.
May we know no more pain. I bless you, that this year you should experience your own personal redemption as well as the redemption of Moshiach speedily!
Chag Kasher V’Sameach