Posts Tagged: Mourning Results 10
When the rabbis, priests, imams and mystics created religious rules and customs surrounding loss and mourning, they did so with varying approaches to respecting the dead and creating the structures for mourners to reconnect to local community.
Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, marked the “sheloshim” of her husband’s death with an emotional post on the social media site.
The scent hit me before I saw it. Sweet, suffusing, almost overpowering. I turned around, and there it was: a lush, magnificent, profusely blooming lilac. I had to stop and smell it. I was instantly transported to the backyard of my first house, the one we left when I was seven. Hanging over, and growing around the split-rail fence was a gigantic (at least to me) lilac. My big sister, Jill and I often held elaborate tea parties at the picnic table next to it, replete with miniature teacups and saucers and numerous baby dolls. At smelling, and seeing, this lilac, I was filled with sweetness and immense sadness; Jill died a few months ago at age 61.
Last week I attended the funeral of a girl who was my age, 39. Jodi and I grew up together. We lived next door to each other as children, from when I moved into my house right before kindergarten until we left for college. For me she will always be that little girl that I played with for hours on her swing set, trying to break a Guinness Book World record for time spent on a swing. We were inspired by a “Brady Bunch” episode, and we played on the swings until it got dark and our parents called us in.
In late August, The Sisterhood launched a series examining the role of women in Jewish mourning traditions. Grieving for a loved one is fiercely personal; doing so as a woman, guided by Jewish laws and rituals, can be comforting or restricting, depending on one’s experience. We asked you, Sisterhood readers, to share your stories. Many people responded. Some women felt marginalized, even alienated, by their limited roles in the mourning process. Others felt invigorated and strengthened, and found deep comfort in community. What resulted was a portrait of Jewish female mourning. This series, which includes essays from writers and submissions from readers, will appear on The Sisterhood blog this week. —Abigail Jones
The following stories from Sisterhood readers are just a sample of the many we received. They have been edited for style and length.