The weekend before Yom Hazikaron and Yom Haatzmaut, 200 bereaved parents gathered for a therapeutic weekend retreat.
The goal of the retreat was meant to provide strength for the couples as they entered the most difficult week of the year in Israel. The weekend surpassed the expectations of the therapists and coordinators.
Sara explained, “what makes Yom Hazikaron so much more difficult … is that we must put on a face of strength for the entire country. They are all watching, waiting for our reaction, will we cry, will we screaming, and will we completely break down? And they do not possibly understand how deeply emotionally exhausting that is.”
The timing of the retreat was a reprieve and opportunity for the families. To reflect, cry, laugh, and just be in an environment where their anguish is not on display and they can exhibit their emotions however they feel comfortable.
They felt that the retreat gave them the strength to go to the cemetery and be strong while mourning for their children that have been killed by terrorists or in the IDF.
Shoshana, who rarely leaves her home since her son was killed, expressed how much strength the air of calm and serenity has given her the ability to breathe again.