All of us, by this time, are old enough to have lost someone close to us...a parent, a teacher, a friend, perhaps even a sibling, perhaps even a child. It throws us into a different space/time, grief does. And sometimes it feels like we can not get out from under its heavy rock. But there is a process, which most of the time, wends its way, even if at first we cannot grasp how that will happen.
I found an articulate quote in the classic The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning by Maurice Lamm: "Judaism...has wisely devised graduated periods during which the mourner may express their grief, and release with calculated regularly the built-up tensions caused by bereavement." I have created a map of these Jewish graduated periods of mourning, and from my own training in psychology, and from Jewish traditions about the soul, combined it all into a chart of the first year of mourning. I am working on a booklet with close up images of the various details of the chart, which should be ready within a month. (Not to worry, I'll send out a special mailing.)
In the meantime, you might want to come and see where you are, and your deceased loved one's soul is on this map. I will be speaking, free, at the JCCSF, April 22, 2:00 PM, room 206, as part of a city wide
Reimagine End of Life with over 150 events the week of April 16-22.
Or if you are on the East coast, join me for a plenary session at the 16th North American Chevra Kadisha and Jewish Cemetery Conference in Maryland, starting June 3.
Dying is something all of us will need to do...and the older we get, the more we will endure it. So come find out some stopping places along the path, find yourself on the map. Know where your loved ones are.
Blessings, Rabbi Me'irah