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mourning customs


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hi everyone...... i've been thinking more about my earlier post about wanting someone to take care of me for a while. i realized that not many people seemed to share my need or if they did, most felt it inappropriate for a grown woman. anyway, i was reading a book on orphaned adults and i read in it a section on the jewish way of mourning and i wished i was jewish! what a lovely way to mourn and be comforted by those around you. I quote from the book below:

"Traditional jews observe 7 days of morning from the day of the funeral. On these days, the mourners remain home, while members of the community come to visit and express their condolences. Mourners sit on low benches or on the floor; they do not shave for the week; they wear a garment which they had torn on the day of the funeral. The mourners are thus immediately thrust into a situation where they are almost always surrrounded by people; where they are preoccupied with a great many details of jewish law and custom.

These observances keep the mourner from falling into a deep depression. They reassure him of the love and concern of the community. The 7 day period of mourning gives the mourner the opportunity to gradually accept the reality of the death which has occured. Although the intense mourning period concludes on teh seventh day, there is a lesser mourning period for 30 days and a still lesser mournig period of one year...."

I should have converted!


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I didn't see your earlier post, but I think I know what you meant. When a dear friend's father died (her mother had died years before), she told me she felt orphaned. She felt as if there was no longer a safety net, because her parents were gone. She was almost 60 years old at the time, but that didn't matter. We always feel comforted, at any age, by the presence of our parents, our first and most loving caregivers, in the world.

Peace to you, Teresa

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Lori, I know the orphan feeling. I lost both parents when I was in my early twenties. And lost both siblings (sister and brother) in 1993 and 1998. When I was growing up in New Orleans, we had what was called a "wake" the night before the funeral. Family would gather together in a place and friends would come by and visit, share memories. It helped the family get through the grieving process. In other places, it is called a "viewing" or "visitation". Don

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Hi Lori

I also didn't see your earlier post, sorry. but I know how you feel and my real dad and my step dad are still alive, but losing my Mom last March has left me feeling completely alone in the world. I do feel like an orphan, my stepfather and I have never been close and my Dad is older and lives far away and I never see him, and he has been sick on and off for 5 years, so well, you know. Mom was the one who was my rock and my wings and my everything. I am greatful I still have my Dad, and we talk a lot on the phone, but the point is, I understand how you feel.

Hey and even if I were Jewish, I don't think that would have helped me. I still feel bad all the time.

We're here for you and feel how you want, there is no stupid way to feel, no matter your age.

hugs Steph

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I see only two people responded to your first post, me being one of them,

I hope you didn't misunderstand my response to your first post.... I no way meant to insinuate the way you felt was "inappropriate for a grown woman".... I hope I did not hurt your feelings with my response.

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Lori, I know how you feel about feeling lost and alone. You know, each of us mourn in our own time and way. Regardless of the way we mourn or the length of time (I'm still mourning over two years later) there comes a time when we must face reality. It is wonderful having friends and family around to keep your spirits lifted but eventually, life will return to the "norm" whatever that may be. You will find that friends go forward with their lives and eventually rarely even mention the one that has passed. Often, people just don't talk about death, just for fear of upsetting the ones left behind. I hope you are able to find peace and comfort in your heart by knowing your Dad is truly at peace and feeling no pain or suffering. I'm keeping you in my prayers!

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