Saturday, October 26, 2013


The selection posted above is a piece I read Thursday morning, after getting up from Shiva, before the rabbi came over and walked around the block with me.  This is the official ending of the Shiva period, the first time I set foot out of my home. A week is an arbitrary mourning time, but nevertheless, it sets some sort of boundary and is a way to cope with a loss.

 I am not especially religious and neither was my dad, but my mom was.  She would have liked me doing this.  I couldn't do it when she died as my dad was so distraught, caring for him became my only concern. Doing it for him also honored her.

We had a minion in my home every evening.  A minion is a group of at least ten Jews who gather and pray.  It is something my temple does for mourners.  Again, it was something I couldn't do for my mom as we sat in the Bronx so I am happy I was able to do it now.  Most of my friends are day people so it filled my heart with joy when people I barely knew from the congregation stopped by to help in my time of need.  I made a vow to be available to help others, a vow I intend to keep.

Friends and community came together to help me.  Words cannot express how much this meant to me.  I cried when I saw Mr. AP walk into the funeral chapel and hug me.  His words, that we were family in spite of our differences made the world of difference to me.  In spite of anything I have ever written, he showed he has a good heart.  There were others too. others who I won't mention here, others I would have thought forgot me, who showed care and concern by coming to the funeral and Shiva.  I have thanked them personally.

And now it is time to return to life.  I intend to continue saying Kaddish (prayer for dead) the full 11 months  (Parents are good and don't need the full year to get into heaven.)  I have hospital bed and oxygen tanks to return, phone calls to make and an apartment to empty.  Bless my wonderful husband for always being there, for being a son to my dad and helping me through this time.

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