As I recover from my recent hysterectomy, I’m reflecting on how much meaning I found in my last trip to the mikveh.

My surgery was scheduled very last minute, with only five days between the initial consultation with the surgeon and surgery itself. Those five days were just filled with angels from Hashem coming my way.

Totally coincidentally (or not), I was due for a mikveh visit on motzei Shabbat, and my surgery was scheduled for Sunday afternoon. I asked my Rav if surgery would make me niddah, and we established that this mikveh visit was to be my last.  

Already a bundle of emotions, I went off to the fabulous Arnona mikveh (I wish I had discovered this mikveh years ago, instead of only months earlier). For the first time, I had to wait in the waiting room. Waiting alongside me were a mother and sister of a bride with a basket of sweets.

My emotions began to swell as I realized the beauty of us crossing paths in this way, this young kallah at her first mikveh visit and me at my last.
As the bride left her bathroom to receive brachot (blessings) from her mother, I realized I was next, and would be taking her room.

The kallah was giving the balanit brachot as I struggled to walk past, sobbing. I tried to explain and the balanit asked if I would like a bracha from the kallah.

Absolutely, I said. She gave me the most beautiful bracha. We were both crying as she blessed me and gave me a sweet.

I entered the bathroom and sobbed as the significance of the moment overwhelmed me.

The balanit was so patient and kind. She helped me with the bracha for tevilla that I was having trouble getting through as I sobbed continuously. She then left me alone in the mikveh to go at my own pace as I came to terms with everything.

The regular visits to the mikveh had been the one constant in my life for thirty years, from being a young bride, to becoming a mother, and then a grandmother. I remembered some of the more momentous trips: the first one, the time when there was no hot water and we all had to go elsewhere, those crazy scary times of tevillah during Covid, visits on holidays, tevillah during a war with the fear of a siren.

I thanked Hashem that I had been blessed with children and felt able to let go of my fertile years and embrace my status as a grandmother.

I am so grateful to have had this beautiful finale to thirty years of mikveh and couldn’t have planned anything more meaningful.

For those looking for meaningful resources related to hysterectomy and a final mikveh immersion when having a hysterectomy: