As I travel my journey through grief and loss, I desperately look for the things that would help me find my footing. Find some way to simply cope and mostly bring me some comfort… Loosing 2 parents in the span of just 4 days left me completely lost… total devastation. What had happened? How was it possible that in such a short time my entire world had changed? I was searching for something to help my cope, allow me to feel my wonderful Ima and Abba with you and I wanted my children and grandchildren to have a part of their Saba and Savta always and forever. While it is true their presence, memory and love are felt daily … there was something more I needed… My wonderful daughters each grieving as well showed me a beautiful post about בובות געגוע… at first glance I was not at all certain that this idea would work for me but I needed to see for myself… The process began with a conversation on the phone and an invitation to come to the studio…I asked my daughters to join me and pick out some clothing that we felt was “Saba and Savta” actually really “Super Saba and Super Savta”. While looking through we laughed and cried all at the same time and then went to meet Avital and Nana at the studio in Yerushaliim. The experience was wonderful. I found myself talking about each one of my parents. As I told the story of their lives. Nana asked all the right questions… guided me through the tears and helped me remember the best part of who my wonderful parents were. Each article of clothing recalled a personal story a memory and a happy and sad moment all together. I wanted each one of my 6 beautiful children and their families to have a pair of "בובות" each one could reflect memories that my children had from childhood and more recent memories with the idea that one day maybe they too could share with their children and grandchildren the stories about Saba and Savta. Nana, I do not know if you truly understand the gift you gave me… I was so lost and left searching for something tangible to hold on too… you created a warm and safe place to unfold my grief. You allowed the ability to share who my wonderful parents were and their personal story. You helped me find an outlet that was loving and full of heart. You journeyed with me creating each doll to exact detail for each child and family..
Each detail on each doll was perfect, from the small heart just a bit of center on the forehead of the Savta doll, my mother’s forehead off center birthmark. You took my fathers kippa which was simply part of who he was and created the face on each Saba doll. You understood that humor was who Savta was and incorporated that into each doll. You understood that Saba was impeccable and that is represented in each doll… You fastened a button and a loop on each of the hands because You understood that they had a love affair Abe and Leona Mandelbaum and they weathered life both together and as individuals. בחייהם ובמותם לא נפרדו So initially 12 dolls were created… but then I needed 2 more for me to keep at home with me and this time the whole doll was about Ima and Abba…When I look at them or hug them tight, I feel like Nana captured their essence and you have allowed even someone my age a grown woman to recall with deep love and affection to of the most wonderful and loving people… The process was and continues to be cathartic and meaningful. At a very sad and difficult time grieving and through trauma you understood and empathized and helped find the right way to express such deep sadness and loss. I am forever grateful to you … you kindness care and talent is incredible and amazing… continue to do what you do…and THANK YOU