Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Random Thoughts

Although I am not up to blogging normally, I do realize, this is a good time to share random thoughts and perhaps to even share a little about the Jewish customs, at the time of mourning.  Right now, nothing seems real in my world.  I am functioning and doing what must be done but there is still a fuzziness surrounding me.

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."

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.


  1. Thanks for sharing some of the Jewish customs with us - unity is imporant in times like these. Your mac and cheese looks delectable.

  2. Hi Chaya , thanks for sharing some of your customs , family , friends is very important at these times . The mac and cheese looks delicious , thanks so much for sharing :) .

  3. I wish that I lived closer to you while you're sitting Shiva...I would have brought over some delicious casseroles...but, you already made your own yuumy mac n' cheese ...simply delicious!

  4. Hi Chaya, very informative post and thanks for sharing. I particularly love your words: She is in a better place and she used her life wisely. Mac n Cheese looks fab!

  5. Hi Chaya,
    My condolences to you and your loved ones.
    Be strong, sending my thoughts and prayers to your family.

  6. It is a difficult time for you and your and family. I can see how proud you are of your daughter and what a wonderful human being she was. Sending many healing thoughts your way, Chaya.

  7. Thank you for sharing. I loved reading about your daughter and your family. My prayers are with you and your family for healing and comfort during this difficult time.

  8. Thank you for sharing. Learning about Shiva, I can see how it provides you some measure of comfort. I'm so sorry for your loss. As a mother, I can only image what you are going through, and my thoughts and prayers are with you.

  9. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.

  10. Dear Chaya,
    You are so brave to share this time with us. I do hope you will continue to share for the sake of not only your daughter and your family but for your well being too.

    You and Your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I've been thinking about you everyday and hope those positive, reassuring thoughts are of some solace to you. Your daughter sounds like an amazing human being. It is wonderful that you are open to her presence and that you are feeling acceptance. I can't even imagine where you are getting your strength from. Good family, good friends and many prayers.

    Thank you ever so much for taking the time to share, Chaya...


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