Update on Avivah

serenity-prayer[1]I owe so much to all of you, for the prayers and good wishes and desire to help….I’ve been overwhelmed and brought to tears by your concern.  I am so grateful for every one of your comments (I’m sorry I can’t respond to each but I’ve seen them all), your emails, your tehillim…. I feel truly surrounded by love.  I’m laying low now and not really talking or writing much but want to share now out of my gratitude to you all.

(side note – To Yael Alrich for setting up a challah chain – thank you!  When forty people prepare challah dough and ‘take challah’ with a bracha – it is a powerful merit for the person it is being done for.  I am so touched by those of you who want to do this for me and your tefillos are very appreciated.  If someone wants to participate, here’s the link – challah segulah chain sign up.)

I am doing better.  Every day is a little better.

The night I was admitted to the hospital all the hospital staff who checked me told me how lucky I was.  They were talking about my eyes being spared but I assumed it meant my face, too.  So when I saw myself in the mirror in the bathroom I was horrified – there was no part of my face left that I recognized.  Nothing.  

Then my face began swelling, so that one eye was swelled entirely shut and the other eye was able to open halfway.  I didn’t think I could look worse but I did.  After two days of swelling, when I woke up one morning and could open both eyes, I felt hopeful.  Then the bandages covering my face came off, and I wished they could stay on.  I shuddered at the person in the mirror who wasn’t me, but she was…I didn’t want to see myself and I didn’t want anyone else to see me.

This morning the woman who cleans the floor came in and looking at me said, “Very nice!”  I looked behind me, thinking she was admiring the pictures of me with my kids on the wall behind me but when I looked back she was looking straight at me.  I asked her what she was talking about, and she said – “You! You look great!”  I said, “This (pointing to my face) looks great?” (In case it’s not clear, I have no part of my face that isn’t burnt except my eyes.)

She hurried to clarify, thinking she had insulted me, telling me how much better I looked than a couple of days ago.  I didn’t know who came in during the first days because I couldn’t see much so I didn’t know she had seen me unbandaged at an earlier stage.  But she’s right.  I look much better.

My face isn’t so swollen anymore, my eyes can open all the way.  My face is covered with different stages of the burns – in some places I have blisters, in some places my skin is peeling, most of my face is a dark reddish color.  I don’t look a bit attractive (that’s the understatement of the year) but it’s all much better than it was.  I would very much appreciate continued prayers for a complete recovery.

As of now I’ll be staying for Shabbos; the doctors just told me they’ll reassess my situation on Sunday.  My daughter came home after over 13 months in the US the night after my accident.  I was so excited about this visit and couldn’t wait to share with you about her homecoming.  I obviously missed it.   I spoke to her yesterday, though.  I was so much looking forward to this Shabbos…. the first Shabbos in so long that our entire family would be together – but obviously that wasn’t supposed to happen.  Hopefully I’ll be home next Shabbos and then we will have that time together. 

So that’s the update about the physical stuff.  It’s going to take time.

Emotionally, I almost strangely feel a lot of peace about this situation.  Being in the hospital without visitors or having to answer the phone is giving me time to rest and reflect.  I don’t want visitors – I just want to be by myself right now, not from a depressed way but from a place of needing some solitude.  I don’t want to talk about the accident or about anything, actually.  Posting here is the exception.

Finding the way through murky times....there is always a path.

Finding my path….

As I physically heal I’m taking time to listen to the voice of my soul, to access my inner wisdom and absorb some messages about what I’m supposed to learn from this situation.  It’s very subtle and very powerful.  This is very very very hard to do – maybe impossible – in the busyness of daily life.  So while I wouldn’t have chosen this, I’m gaining something very valuable from this experience.


39 thoughts on “Update on Avivah

  1. Sending you so much love and brochos, and tefilos. You are on my mind so much. Hashem will give you strength and know that no matter what, you ARE beautiful. This is obviously not easy, far from it. Healing should come without delay, physically and emotionally.

  2. I’m glad to hear from you, but really, truly take care of yourself first and don’t worry about the rest of us — we’ll keep on davening and doing mitzvos in your zechus (and cleaning for Pesach!). You’ll let us know when you feel you have recovered enough.

    May the learning process be easier (and less painful) soon!

  3. Been down this road with my dd… it’s horrible. You want to ask questions or talk or rant (enjoying your high protein diet?) I’m here. (Also– don’t take anything they say to you about the length of your hospital stay as meaningful). In the end, everything will be some version of okay. You are still you, regardless of this or anything. You are a child of HaShem.

  4. Avivah – you may have received this info from Yael already, but Chaya Green runs a burn gemach – 02-5825698. You can reach her 8-9 am or appointments Sun and Thurs from 8 pm.

    Refuah sheleimah, I’m davening for you.

  5. Avivah, sending you prayers and love for a speedy and complete recovery. We are davening for you here in Western Massachusetts (and all over the place). May you have a total refuah sheleima . Your attitude is as always inspiring.

  6. Please continue to take care of yourself. Rest, reflect, accept. And know that the rest of us are on this journey with you, praying for you, hoping to hear that you are feeling better soon. May Hashem give you a full recovery!

  7. Continue accessing that inner strength. This sounds trite, but it’s true: you’re incredibly inspiring. You should have a refuah sheleima and be home soon with your whole family.

  8. Oh, Avivah, (((hugs))). So sorry you’re missing the first Shabbos with your dd. And hope your face continues healing. Thinking of you.

  9. Thank you for taking the time to post! My family and I are Davening for you and we will iyH be making challah today, in your merit! Wishing you an easy, speedy refuah shleima!!

  10. Hashem should bless you with a complete recovery, physically and emotionally. There is nothing He can’t do! Davening for you here in Los Angeles…

  11. Thank you for letting us join you on your journey of solitude.

    Your words are an inspiration, and I’m sure (since you’re obviously getting His message) that you will have a refuah sheleimah.

  12. Avivah, you are leading us. Your neshama is so strong it is holding us all up.
    Wishing you a complete complete complete refuah

  13. We continue saying tehillim for you and send you positive healing thoughts. Praying that this will soon be a distant memory and you will soon be home with your family.

  14. Continuing to send you and your family good thoughts. Please let me know if there are any herbs/salves/etc. that would be helpful but that are difficult to obtain locally.

  15. Avivah, thank. Thank you for extending the effort yo update us. Your strength and yhr depth of your neshamah is truly uplifting. May you continue to recover and join your family speedily,

  16. Avivah, we are continuing to daven for you. Those of you in the US who would like to participate in our daily tehillim phone conference, here is the info: We “meet” in a phone conference room daily at 9:45 am, Eastern. Dial 1-605-475-6150. Listen to the prompts, put in the pin number 534592 followed by the # sign. Please mark your tehillim. We move fast! We say the following: 13, 20, 30, 41, 121, 130 and 142, followed by a yehi ratzon for refuah for cholim and a (way too) long list of those who need healing. If you/your hubby would like to email me privately, we have had experience with a family member who was treated in a burn unit, and I may have some helpful info to share. In the meantime, listen to your inner voice, rest and recover.

  17. Dear Avivah,
    We are davening for you and sending our healing vibes your way.
    Thanks for sharing this update. It is so good to hear you “voice” from the depths of this experience.

  18. Aviva, may you be blessed with a speedy and complete recovery physically and emotionally. Have a peaceful Shabbat and regain your strength, You are in my thoughts and prayers, I was in a bad place more than once physically and emotionally but with the help, love and blessings from those around me I was able to overcome and I know you will too.

  19. Oh, my Avivah.
    This post overwhelmed me with gratitude. ..that your eyes were spare, that none of the children were hurt (I don’t think I have ever seen you NOT carrying one of my precious nieces or nephews. Mostly, I feel a strong push from God to say this (maybe cliché – if it is, please forgive me): if your head (God forbid) fell of your shoulders, you would not lose a SPECK of your beauty. As a little girl I remember being so jealous of your hair, and your white teeth, and your almond eyes, and your infectious smile…but it was was and (increasingly) is because your inner beauty is something that resonates from the inside. Corny? Nope. Litmus test? Look at your daughters…what is the most precious part of their beauty?…’nuff said. I would give nearly anything to hold your hand. ..and hear your voice. I love you dearly. Rest…repair…and know this only stands to multiply your beauty.

  20. Enjoy the quiet companionship of the voice of your soul. As you and your neshama have the time to get to know each other, the doctors and Hashem can do their work. May you have a swift and joyful healing, and a sweet reunification from a place of wholeness with your dear daughter.

  21. Avivah, I am so sorry to read about what happened!! You should have a speedy refuah shleima. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  22. We are davening for you and wishing you a refuah shelaymah. It sounds from your post that the time assessing life is part of your refuah – though you wouldn’t have asked for it.
    Much love and hope that shabbos should be a refuah.
    Love, Batsheva

  23. Thinking of you. Davening for you. Sending you a hug, Avivah. Sending you strength as you continue on this path.

    May your Shabbos be full of peace, improving health and much love.

  24. Aviva,
    I’m so sorry that this happened to you and that you won’t be able to be with Tehila after so long. But I’m guessing the fact that she is finally coming home means that she has stabilized and is doing a lot better than a year ago and that is such a Bracha!

  25. Yes, yes, so good to hear your voice – most of us have NO NEED for you to respond to us personally. I will keep on davenning. So glad to read/hear your voice again. I had a burn once. Sending you strength. So glad you are having this chance to listen to your inner voice. Keep on listening. May hashem CONTINUE to send you a refua shlaima, a complete healing of the soul and body!!

    Hugs. So glad your daughter is home. May all of the blessings flow easily into your life – now and in the future.

  26. Avivah,

    Thank you for keeping all those that love you updated. We are davening for you and your family during this difficult time. You are one of the strongest women I have ever met. Stay connected.


  27. Avivah- this might sound crazy, but what I first thought when I heard you were burned (after the initial wave of “Oh no!” and “Oh my gosh how is she?” and whatnot) was that you are SOOOOOOOOOO beautiful as a person that it makes 100% no difference what your face looks like. I think it’s like when you meet a Gadol and think he is 6’5 and then you read a biography that he is so short, only 5’2, and you are like, huh??? Your presence is just so beautiful in every way that I think no matter how your face looks people will just perceive you as the gorgeous neshama you are. I know you have a long road ahead, and I hope you will really take the time in the hospital to nurture yourself inwardly so that you can continue to shine so much outwardly. The rest is only curtains on the palace you have built… Refuah shelaimah, my dear friend…

  28. Dear Aviva,
    Thoughts & prayers with you so this Shabbos should be a nechama for body & soul. I once spent a month I’m the hospital – you can learn a lot about yourself there. Be patient. But don’t let the new trainee nurse draw blood from the back of you hand with an 18 gauge needle. That time I was a little too patient. Refuah shlaima.

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