To ground myself, let me start with "shiva", the week after the funeral, when we sit with other mourners.
"......... once shiva begins, the focus shifts to the mourners. The mourners experience a week of intense grief, and the community is there to love and comfort and provide for their needs. This is a critical point, for if one must feel the heart-wrenching pain of grief and loss, it should be done at a time when all those around are there to help and comfort.
The laws of mourning have the purpose of focusing a person on their own spirituality. We experience an overall feeling of physical discomfort as we totally focus on the soul of the one who has departed. We de-emphasize our own physicality by not pampering our bodies, so we remember that what we are missing at this time is not the physical person who is gone, but the essence of who that person was, which of course is their soul." Aish.com.
The first few days, we sat with my grandchildren, my daughter's husband and my children. These were the days we shared among ourselves and those who came to visit, memories and feelings. There was a lot of raw emotion and I found the tears of my grandchildren (grown or almost grown) overpowered my own feelings.
Each family member was attempting to take care of another. We had 13 mourners sitting shiva. That means 13 directly connected relatives (immediate family).
Relatives, friends and community members come to visit and we learned much about our daughter that we did not know, none of us......... She did much good in her life, including talking someone out of committing suicide (a complete stranger). People who never met her traveled from other states to comfort us. They shared their relationships with our daughter, mother and sister and each tale was one of goodness and comfort. She never shared all the mitzvahs (badly translated - good deeds).
The grandchildren have not fallen far from the tree. They are following both their parent's paths and are continuing to reach out to others. We were totally impressed with how they shared and how they mourned. The love in the room was overpowering and helped tremendously. The loss is ours. She is in a better place and she used her life wisely. We have marvelous memories to help with the intense loss we felt.
Seeing total unity in three generations of our family made me think, we must have done something right. We had to play a small part in their development. If you are a parent, you probably know, how at times, we question our decisions with our children. I am sure, we make lots of mistakes but I think, leaving a family with love, respect for each other and unity must say something.
Enough for now. We do have to eat although I have had little desire to cook and certainly not to experiment. I did make a mac and cheese, last night, that turned out a bit different. the sauce was mainly goat cheese, mustard, lemon juice, Romano and Parmesan with some spices made into a creamy sauce. I hope, I can recreate this in the future. It was a nice change and easy to make.