My mother and I never got along. Up until the day she died, we had a contentious relationship. Though I have moved beyond some of the many hurts she inflicted on me, I find that sometimes I still feel the uprisings from within of an old wound.
A friend of mind on Facebook who I “met” when I started Being Catholic ... Really sent me this prayer after reading one of my articles about my mother:
A Yizkor Meditation in Memory of a Parent Who Hurt
By Rabbi Robert Saks
You know my heart. Indeed, You know me better than I know myself, so I turn to You before I rise for Kaddish.
My emotions swirl as I say this prayer. The parent I remember was not kind to me. His/her death left me with a legacy of unhealed wounds, of anger and of dismay that a parent could hurt a child as I was hurt.
I do not want to pretend to love, or to grief that I do not feel, but I do want to do what is right as a Jew and as a child.
Help me, O God, to subdue my bitter emotions that do me no good, and to find that place in myself where happier memories may lie hidden, and where grief for all that could have been, all that should have been, may be calmed by forgiveness, or at least soothed by the passage of time.
I pray that You, who raise up slaves to freedom, will liberate me from the oppression of my hurt and anger, and that You will lead me from this desert to Your holy place.
My friend pointed out to me that perhaps I need to pray for my own inner peace before I could begin to pray for my mother. Though it seemed selfish, it made sense.
It’s a new year and though I rarely make resolutions, I think I will resolve to apply this prayer to other relationships in my life.
God bless and happy new year!