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  • When I said to my mother I wanted to write down our family’s stories, she became my person.

    Written by Claire Sicherman | #NoOneSucceedsAlone

    When I was in my thirties my mother told me that my grandfather killed himself. She spoke these words casually, as if she were a server in a restaurant telling me about the specials. My sister and I grew up thinking it was a heart attack. I was four when he died. My mother was three weeks shy of giving birth to my sister.

    When I said to my mother I wanted to write down our family’s stories, she became my person. She was the one I would email in the middle of the night when a question popped into my head. She was the one who sat down with me on her couch while I worked through my list, trying to make sense of the chronology of events.

    In the end, I wasn’t able to make sense of anything. But this wasn’t my mother’s fault. This was because the events themselves, the fact that most of my ancestors were murdered in the Holocaust, will remain incomprehensible.

    When I consider the strength it must have taken my mother to walk with me into the dark of the past and help break the silence that surrounded our family’s stories, it is with a deep sense of gratitude and admiration for her bravery.

    Sicherman, Claire - Sicherman-BanyenBooks

    Taken by my husband, Jeremy Sicherman, in March at a reading at Banyen Books & Sound in Vancouver.

     

    See Claire at the 2018 Whistler Writers Festival

     

    Sicherman, Claire

    Sicherman, Claire