My Illness, My Children

755px-Nurse_administers_chemotherapyHere’s a prayer to be said by an ill parent worried about how witnessing the disease will impact his or her children. A challenge in writing this piece: striking a tone that encompasses the experiences of both younger and older children. This is the main reason for the built-in flexibility in structure and use of this prayer, providing optional inserts for meditation on each individual child’s needs in this time of stress, uncertainty and potential trauma. This prayer appears in my new book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

My Illness, My Children
My G-d,
In the days ahead,
The weeks and the months,
I will face challenges as the result of _________ [insert type of surgery or name of disease].
My heart and my hopes,
My love and my questions,
Also turn toward my children.
How will the experience of my [surgery][illness][condition]
Shape their lives?
What will they learn?
What beliefs will they take in?

Grant me the ability to care for my children,
Even as they yearn to provide support and understanding for me.
Let me be a source of love,
A light of comfort,
A lamp of hope,
A well of blessings.

[Optional insert: Repeat the following paragraph for each child]
Bless my child ___________ [insert name]
Who _____________ [insert thoughts about what he/she is feeling now]
With _____________ [insert specific concerns and prayer for that child].

G-d of health and healing,
Watch over my children
In their hour of need.
Let our love for each other
Shine brightly through the days ahead,
A testimony to your Holy Name.

© 2014 Alden Solovy and All rights reserved.

Postscript: There are a wide variety on health and healing at a time of critical illness in my new book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing, including seven prayers about surgery, among them: “For Surgery” and “Upon Recovery from Surgery,”

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Photo Source: WikiMedia Commons

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