Eric and Stacy Baron: The Sun Will Shine Again

Our life with COVID-19 actually began more than seven months ago. In December 2019 our 32 year old daughter, Emily, passed away due to complications of cerebral palsy. We had loved, raised and cared for Emily. She was and will always be a huge part of our lives together as a family.  

We had incredible support as we met with Rabbi Cohen who guided us through the first few days of Jewish ritual, ceremony and meaning. Stacy and I realized that to navigate this huge change in our lives we needed to take it very slowly. Judaism teaches and encourages us to mourn first by days, then weeks, and then months for the first year.  

Had it not been for the love and care from our friends, family and Jewish community, we don’t know how we could have made it through. Their concern for our well being was a huge comfort. Stacy and I talked about the importance of this time and how we would begin to move forward. We knew that there would be a lot of support and invites along the way but we really wanted to pace ourselves as we began this new stage of our life’s journey. 

Little did we know that in just 3 short months all of our friends, all of our family, all of our community and pretty much the whole world would be taking it very slowly along with us. COVID-19 was here and the pandemic began to spread like a wildfire out of control. 

Just as we were beginning to adjust and fill our time, the March shut down hit and Eric got furloughed from his work. As so many of us, we found ourselves mostly at home with lots of unplanned time, cancelled dates and empty calendars as life with COVID-19 began to settle in. 

We figured out pretty quickly that for us we still needed to continue to pace ourselves, not knowing what the future of COVID-19 would bring. Prior to the shutdown we got comfort in going to Friday night Shabbat services. Saying Kaddish became a meaningful remembrance. When things quickly moved virtual due to the pandemic, CBB literally became an extension in our home. We began to follow a new calendar. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday Cafe CBB with Diane, Elizabeth and Rabbi Brenner. Social media, Instagram, or even Twitter was not in our daily routine, so Zooming felt a little awkward at first. Each week Zoom got more familiar as we all learned to navigate this new way to connect and interact. We knew a few participants well, some just a little bit and many others who then became new friends. From the coffee chats came “Lunch and Learns” with meetings on history, current events and music presentations. Each week we continued to be amazed by the variety of presentations, presenters and learning opportunities that were being offered. Friday evening Shabbat services became a regular login, and we even took our first dive into Saturday morning Torah study. 

As so many of us have realized, this connection may have never happened if we were not in the midst of the challenging experience of this pandemic. When we think back to December 2019, our hope then was that with the passage of time our own sense of sadness and loss would gradually be replaced by the wonderful memories that Emily gave us over her lifetime. 

We now can add to that hope that the sadness and loss during this pandemic will soon be replaced with the strengthened connections and reconnections that have enriched all of our lives with friends, family, community and the world that we live in.

Eric and Stacy Baron have lived in Santa Barbara and been members of CBB for the past 30 years. The title of this post alludes to CBB community member Sissy Taran’s book by the same name, which has brought the authors great comfort during this change in their lives.