June 28, 2008

Shiva to sheloshim

On Friday afternoon, just before Shabbat, I got up from shiva and entered sheloshim. Rik and I walked around the block to mark the transition, talking about my dad. I took off my keriah
and changed to Shabbat-worthy clothing.

We went to kabbalat Shabbat services so I could say kaddish. I entered the synagogue with another mourner just after L'cha Dodi and everyone greeted us traditionally with HaMakom yinachem etchem b’toch sha'ar avaylay Tzion v’Yerushalayim -- May God – HaMakom/The Source- comfort you among all other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem. We had Shabbat dinner with friends.

I have moved from shiva to sheloshim. In some ways this has been the longest week of my life. The grief and loss of the early days of this week felt magnified by being with my mother and sister. We were cocooned within family, grieving together, sharing stories and memories, confessing things we'd never told one another, in our outpouring of grief.

Once Rik and I returned home, I began to feel a little remote. Having shiva minyanim in our home allowed me to receive comfort from our friends and community. The second half of the week felt like a transition period.

These thirty days are another transition back to life. I have to start picking up the pieces of daily habits -- walking the dog, doctors' appointments, laundry, errands.


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