Life in Post-War: The Battle is Still Raging
By Rebecca Fuhrman
The war ended with a blast of hot air that thawed a cold and unfamiliar July and August, and ushered in an unusually lively September, replete with parties, beach days and wine festivals. So much time had been lost, and every individual and family rushed to enjoy the entirety of summer in just a few short days.
I didn’t notice the turning of the seasons, as we are still very much in this war zone of recovery.
The battle rages on.
I often find myself digging deep to explain the effects of war and loss on families. It is a unique challenge, as the reality of the continued battle to recover from terrorism and war is a difficult concept to grasp, and one that people prefer to avoid.
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As we strive to maintain our status as a “healthy society,” we do our best to progress beyond our national crises and focus on living and celebrating life. To achieve this, many shun all negative thoughts and feelings as a way of inviting positivity into their lives.
But the truth is unavoidable and clear: There is no “post war” period for victims of terrorism, for wounded soldiers or for bereaved families, because their journey of survival is only beginning, and will continue throughout their lives.
It is impossible to explain the pain, anguish, trauma and grief that seep into the crevices of their personal loss and wreak havoc on the core foundation of the normalcy of their lives.
As a survivor of terrorism myself, news headlines about fresh terrorist attacks remind me how the lightest of wounds can hurt your soul, and that a headline is only the beginning of a long and painful journey.
Every loss is different, and every person copes in his or her own way. I feel that resilience is a God-given gift – some have enough to cope alone, while others cannot stretch it thin enough to regain their footing.
Individuals and families who are left wounded or grieving from acts of terrorism will always grapple with the emotional trauma that stems from the randomness of the incident that changed their lives and the lives of the people they love.
Similarly, the ripple effects from the wars waged to establish and protect our young country continuously permeate the lives of bereaved and wounded families, as they battle internal and external forces to regain the normalcy that was stolen from them.
It is for this reason that we can never define any one period as “post war.”
Just as we set aside time and resources to assist our soldiers and civilians in rocket range during Operation Protective Edge, we must go to the same lengths to help those who need it to rebuild their lives. Victims of terrorism and war, and their families, need us now and for the foreseeable future.
As Jews, they are members of our intimate circles, and we cannot allow them to traverse this painful emotional terrain alone. As we are all one family, the battle is still raging for all of us.
Rebecca Fuhrman is the director of communications and marketing at OneFamily www.onefamilytogether.org, Israel’s leading national organization focused on rebuilding, rehabilitating and reintegrating Israel’s wounded and bereaved victims of terrorism and war.