Rachel, a qualified social worker, runs the 24 hour telephone support line at the Sarah Ronson Crisis and Intervention Centre in Sderot.
Since the beginning of the Hot Line, Rachel has been in touch weekly with a certain woman who was widowed suddenly at a very young age. She has no parents and the relationship with her siblings is problematic. Thus, she shoulders sole responsibility for the care of her two children, with no help or support. The woman began suffering from severe panic attacks and was eventually hospitalized. The late husband’s family lives in Sderot but the relationship is very difficult. They insist that she has to continue to mourn the death of her husband and that she has no legitimization to find happiness and go on with her life.
In her conversations with Rachel, they have spoken a lot about loss and mourning, and about the meaning of being widowed at a young age suddenly and unexpectedly. Rachel spoke to her about the legitimacy of returning to live a full life and even to find a new life partner. Slowly the woman began to function once again, her panic ceased, she acquired a vocation and began to work, met new friends, and even began going out with them in the evenings. Today she is at the point of trying to establish a new relationship with a partner.
The connection between Rachel and the woman is extremely meaningful for her. Each week she waits for the telephone conversation with Rachel and feels she can tell her things that she would not dare tell other people. This connection gives her the feeling that someone is thinking about her and is concerned about her and has given her legitimization for the feelings and difficult situations that she has experienced.