Losing a parent is unimaginably painful for any child, because a parent is irreplaceable. Nowadays many innocent children lose parents through divorce.
I first lost my parent as a toddler, figuratively, through divorce, and decades later sat shivah.
I was put into the unenviable position of sitting shivah for a parent who never really got to know me or my children and didn’t enjoy an iota of nachas from us in Olam Hazeh.
This poem was written during the sheloshim as a zechus for my parent.
Dear Tatty and Mommy,
Once upon a time
When life was song in rhyme
Before your marriage unfurled
I entered your world…
Then, after much was done and said
And your former bond was dead
The two of you were no longer wed
Please listen to my heartfelt plea
Treat each other with civility
Because any acrimony will accompany me for eternity
Doesn’t your child deserve good memories?
When you knock my parent, your ex
Me, it does pain and perplex
It cuts me to my inner core
It’s with me that you’re waging a war
You can cut the knot and start anew
But I’ll always be tied to both of you
You can unlink the chain
But both of yours I’ll remain
You can wash your hands clean
But you can’t eliminate lineage from my genes
Before every decision you decide
Peel away each layer of pride
To ascertain what is goading you inside
On the unavoidable side effects
Before it’s retrospect
Severing me from blood relations
Necessitates serious contemplation
Because another’s amputation
Should never be done for self-gratification
Please treat me as a child and not like ammunition
As a person, not an acquisition
My outcome depends on your behavior
You can be my ruination — or my savior.