Nourishing Hope and Cooking to Heal
Even if the yeast that causes the dough to rise is absent, you can still find a way to make the dough rise. This message in itself gives hope.
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This week twenty five bereaved mothers gathered at the OneFamily Jerusalem center to bake healthy bread.
Each has lost a child to terror.
Mindee Levinger, OneFamily’s Jerusalem Case Worker, understands the painful and exhausting challenge experienced by the bereaved mother who has to get her herself, her home ,and her family through yet another Passover; with the glaring absence of her murdered child. So Mindee gathered together this group of bereaved mothers immediately after Passover in order to enable them to plan for themselves an activity that would provide them with the boost of nourishment and togetherness that they need to enable them to face the Summer.
Each of the twenty five bereaved mothers are regular users of the OneFamily center, because they feel that when they come to OneFamily they receive love, a hug, understanding, and a sense that they are not alone in their pain. Most also receive specialist therapies. They tell us that when they are at OneFamily they “feel healthy, not sick”. No one is looking at them because they need to cry. No one impatiently tells them to get over their loss, which goes so irreparably deep. They can behave and talk and interact as they need and want to do.
Most of OneFamily’s bereaved mothers are no longer employed, because after the loss of their child to terror they could not avoid crying and grieving at work. They were unable to cope with the daily demands of their workplace. Most go to visit their child’s grave on a daily basis.
The bereaved mothers in this group know each other from OneFamily and they enjoy seeing each other, sharing with each other, and patiently listening to each other. They are a family. They also love cooking together.
In planning for their activity day they decided to follow Passover by making a special recipe for bread which is very healthy, but yet requires no yeast. They say that cooking heals. Cooking can soothe jangled nerves, heal broken hearts, and cure boredom, insomnia and anxiety. Even if the yeast that causes the dough to rise is absent, you can still find a way to make the dough rise. This message in itself gives hope, and the pictures of the baking session speak for themselves. They demonstrate the momentary happiness, fulfillment, and creativity that these bereaved mothers experience when they share together.
Mindee Levinger is one of OneFamily’s four case workers. She is deeply and intimately involved in the lives of over 200 bereaved mothers. Not only does she spend time with each of them at the OneFamily center and at our activities, retreats and workshops, but she also attends their memorial gatherings and regularly visits each of their homes.
Mindee explains:“You have to go and sit with them. To really know them. To be in their home. To see the room of the child that they lost. Then they trust you and they believe that you are honest in your love.”
As the bread was cooking, the OneFamily center filled with the mothers’ chatter and the heartwarming aroma of freshly leavened bread. …….Just another day at OneFamily.