In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month I post a blog each day with a reflection about breast cancer. The reflections all stem from something in the play. (All quotes are from lines in the play).
Day 7: Who Do You Call? “The first time I cried was later that afternoon when we called the Temple.” The Actual Dance
We got the news. What I called “Stage 3 cubed.” And I had already gone dark – I saw the handwriting on the wall, or at least I thought I did. This was the beginning of the end. So who do we call first? What do we say? How do I say it?
Our first call was to our reform Jewish Temple. We had been members for 27 years. In fact both Susan and I had been president of the Congregation. Temple Rodef Shalom. Our Temple had a process for just such a phone call. First, we get transferred to a clergy person. He listens. Then he asks if we need anything right now and if he can mention Susan’s name as part of a healing ritual in our religious services that Friday night. We say yes. Shortly after that call we get a call from the “caring committee.” We are offered meals and visits. A different clergy person is assigned to check in with us twice a week.
Religious communities are in so many ways meant to be for such these moments. Whatever your faith, a church or a synagogue forms a sacred community. What more sacred act is there than to be present and support people in their worst nightmare.
Susan and I now always sign up to help when we hear of someone else facing illness. It isn’t just giving back, it is about being part of a sacred community.
Stats of the Day: People with cancer were 12 times more likely to commit suicide within a week of diagnosis and three times more likely to commit suicide within a year, according to a 2012 article in The New England Journal of Medicine.
Task of the Day: Call your church or synagogue and sign up to be part of their caring community. If there is no religious organization that speaks to you, find a cancer care organization in your community and volunteer there.
Resource of the Day: There is an organization specifically devoted to Jewish response to breast cancer. It is called Sherasheret® Many churches and Christian organizations have resources posted in October. Here is one. If you want to start one in your church here is a resource guide.
The Actual Dance: Performances. Donate.