Memories
Appreciation,  That's Life,  THOUGHTS

Mourning a Loss

 

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Shivah:  A traditional seven-day period of mourning the dead that is observed in Jewish homes – often used in the phrase sit shivah.    —- Merriam Webster

 

It’s snowing today. The first snow of the season.

Two days ago we buried our mother. We have been honouring the mourning period which in Judaism is known as “Shivah”. Thursday until 9pm, Friday until 5pm we get up because of the Sabbath there is no Shivah, and resumes Sunday 10am until 9pm. This is the shortened version that many choose to do instead of the traditional seven days.

During the Shivah period, friends and family come to pay their respects to the living immediate family mourning the loss of a loved one. We are sitting together at my brother’s house. In our religion, although my family is by no means religious, we have a system that seems to flow. We bury our dead the very next day (unless it’s the Sabbath day). Word spreads fast and during the Shiva, friends and family keep us company with their various comings and goings. It helps to ease up the sadness, but for me it’s a deterrent because trust me, when you get back home in your own quiet thoughts, it catches up with you. I am sure my emotions may be running amok for the next few weeks anyway; until I can find some resolution with myself and put things into the perspective that allows me to live comfortably.

Every time my husband drives us to and from my brother’s house, we pass the cemetery where my parents now rest together. It felt doubly hard to watch them fill the grave of my mother as the memories of doing that same thing almost 24 years ago with my father came flashing back.

The day before my mother passed and my brother called me to tell me my mother had hours left, maybe a day, I was beside myself. I felt the only thing that could comfort me at that time was to go to the cemetery and be with my father for awhile. I wanted to tell him that the love of his life would soon be coming. I told him that I prayed his eternity with her would be peaceful for him as it was not in his short life.

It was a sunny day, cool and crisp and no snow yet in sight. When I began telling my dad about my mom, the sky got dark and it started to rain. I got concerned that may have been a bad omen, but when I told my sister about it, she said they were his tears of joy. I drove home in the rain. As soon as I parked the car, the sun came back out.

I pray that from all the sadness my family has endured through the years and this past week that this closure may strengthen some of the broken ties between us that the years have tattered with so many hurts and resentments.

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I would like to take this opportunity to thank so many of you for your support and condolences here and on social media and for your lovely comments in the guestbook link that was attached to the memorial notice I posted on facebook. It is truly comforting and an honour to call you all friends.

D.G.

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.

24 Comments

  • elainemansfield

    I hope you’re writing down the details of what’s happening. Sometimes in the midst of this kind of chaos, we forget to take care of ourselves, so forgive me if I’m saying the obvious. Sending you love, E

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Elaine for your wise words. Yes, it’s amazing how much I have been writing in the stolen moments of these past few days. I began writing the sequel to my first book Conflicted Hearts months ago, knowing I would never be finishing that book of closure until such time as my mom would pass. Many important things have come to light in these short few days. 🙂 <3

  • marianbeaman

    The butterfly image suggests rebirth, which I trust will include reunion: knitting together of some broken ties “tattered with so many hurst and resentments.” May you feel God’s comfort now and in the days ahead, my dear.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for your words of comfort Marian. Yes, I believe the same about butterflies and hope for the ties to mend. Thanks again for the lovely prayer, God is good. <3

  • Christina ~

    Debby, my heart and prayers have been with you…and I am saddened by my online absence. Your sister’s words were beautiful…I’m so glad you shared them. I just wanted to send you all my love and to let you know my heart is heavy with yours dear friend. Hugs and more hugs ♥♥♥ ~

    • dgkaye

      Oh sweet Christina, it’s lovely to have your presence back here. I know we all have our burdens and you certainly have your share, so no worries. Thank you for always caring and offering you kind love and support. xo <3

  • coastalmom

    Debbie,
    I am so sorry. I knew that the time was close but had no idea that it had happened. I know that even though you may be feeling a bit ambivalent about your memories, I know that your emotions have to be heavy. I pray that this is a time of release for you. I am sending you a big hug and lots of love!
    xoxo
    di

    • dgkaye

      Again, you are wise. This is definitely a time where my guilted emotions are riding high. Like I mentioned in my other response to you, I am processing and writing, and I am hoping when that book is complete that I may feel at peace. 🙂

  • Holistic Wayfarer

    My deepest condolences, Deb. A beautiful description of the journey through valley of the shadow of death. I wish I could take some food over, offer some tangible gesture of comfort.

    Xxxx
    Diana

  • Alexander M Zoltai

    My mother left first—devastated my father (humbled him a bit, too)…

    She suffered horribly—he left us in great peace—perhaps following the Path my mother prepared…

    May God be with you and Yours………

  • Deborah Jay

    So sorry to hear of your loss and all the conflicting emotions it must raise. Hope you can finally achieve some closure, and hopefully find peace for yourself and your family.

  • Let's CUT the Crap!

    So sorry for your loss, Debby. I lost my mother four years ago. No matter what came before, I feel like an orphan. Both parents are gone now like yours. Hope you keep busy and not dwell on this for a while. Stress will do you no good. You must still take care of you. <3 <3

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