CVT psychotherapist and trainer Abbey Kanzer, PsyD, LP, wrote this poem as a reflection on a women’s counseling group she led. The women came from around the world. They ranged in age. They spoke different languages. They had different education levels.

But they had three things in common: they were all torture survivors; they were all mothers; and they were all separated from at least one child.

We share it in honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday.

A Tribute to the Thursday Women

by Abbey Kanzer

I invite you to bring your pain to share
Thinking I am to be
a listener, a healer, a guide.
I have trained for this
cultivating empathy, insight and empty spaces in my heart.
How could I have known the ache
would be so deep I want to weep
until I can no longer bear it.
And then you speak of forgiveness.
But I’m not ready yet, I’m still too angry.
Because you are all so beautiful, so loved and hurt too much.
And I feel guilty because I feel grateful to be in your presence.
So we sit together and create a path.
You hold each others’ pain and reflect back beauty.
You see in yourselves the possibility of pain
that has its place.
Too much to bear, but nonetheless, you bear it
and rise again to
laugh and love into the long years of your lives.