Jump to content

Menu

Something about death that really just bothers me...


StaceyinLA
 Share

Recommended Posts

Okay well I guess more than one thing about death bothers me. I mean let's face it, it's not pleasant to think about. However, my daughter is going through this horrific loss (and it's really awful in general because when a young person dies, it's just terrible), and I post asking for prayers for her, but my next post is about what to cook with my beef tenderloin for Christmas dinner.

 

My mom died Good Friday morning, and that evening I was watching my grandchildren dye Easter eggs. We weren't able to bury her until the next Wednesday, so life was just progressing as normal and it was so very strange.

 

It bothers me tremendously how life just keeps moving, and even amongst the tragedy you have to deal with mundane, everyday crap.

 

I realize that's probably what keeps people sane, but it just seems so... wrong.

  • Like 17
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get what you are saying.  When my father passed away I remember standing in the grocery store and wondering what the heck I was doing there. We just buried my father and here I was buying groceries.  It was surreal. There is definitely a period of disconnect. 

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree. I've not had to plan the funeral arrangements for anyone, but I've often wondered how anyone can bear to be thinking of planning for a party when their loved one has died. Because isn't that what the dinner afterwards is? A party where everyone brings food or goes out to eat? If it's in a home you have to plan about paper plates and extra seating and make sure there's enough toilet paper etc. Just like planning a party.

 

I'm sure other cultures handle death differently from us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My ds was so close to my mom.  She lived with us and cared for him when I was sick.  Her death when he was 14 hit him very hard.  He said, [it happens] "and you can't imagine how life could possible go on.  And then...it just does."  He summed it up so clearly for me at that time.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get it.

 

I remember being in the limo after we buried my mom and looking out the window at the passersby and thinking they never knew she existed. They don't know or really care that she's gone.

 

And I wend home and wondered at how I could eat and sleep and fold laundry and clean when my heart was broken. It's so disconcerting.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I guess wrong wasn't the right word. I would want my family to go on living of course. I guess I just want to be sure they keep me there in all the mundane decisions. ;-p

 

With my mom it was a bit different because, yes, we knew it was coming (and when it gets to that point, you have the guilt of being somewhat relieved as well), and because she had Alzheimer's, so, even though this is my first Christmas without her, she's really been "gone" for a couple of Christmases.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree. I've not had to plan the funeral arrangements for anyone, but I've often wondered how anyone can bear to be thinking of planning for a party when their loved one has died. Because isn't that what the dinner afterwards is? A party where everyone brings food or goes out to eat? If it's in a home you have to plan about paper plates and extra seating and make sure there's enough toilet paper etc. Just like planning a party.

 

I'm sure other cultures handle death differently from us.

I've had to do it for two parents.  It is awful.  I don't react outwardly very much to death, and so it fell on my shoulders to hold everyone together AND get all the stuff done.  I was young too, and didn't know what the heck I was doing.  I hated all of it.  Anyway, thankfully for the food stuff it seemed to take care of itself.  

 

I think funerals are the worst thing ever (especially southern funerals), and if it were up to me, they wouldn't be a thing.  

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get it.

 

I remember being in the limo after we buried my mom and looking out the window at the passersby and thinking they never knew she existed. They don't know or really care that she's gone.

 

And I wend home and wondered at how I could eat and sleep and fold laundry and clean when my heart was broken. It's so disconcerting.

I had those EXACT thoughts when we were on the way from the funeral home to gravesite to bury my dad. Like how dare people go on with their day when my dad was dead. Of course, I was 27 when he died and it was my first huge loss, so I don't think I knew what to expect.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had to do it for two parents. It is awful. I don't react outwardly very much to death, and so it fell on my shoulders to hold everyone together AND get all the stuff done. I was young too, and didn't know what the heck I was doing. I hated all of it. Anyway, thankfully for the food stuff it seemed to take care of itself.

 

I think funerals are the worst thing ever (especially southern funerals), and if it were up to me, they wouldn't be a thing.

I can't stand funerals either. I do know of some people who didn't have them. A friend's brother didn't have a funeral, but a few months after his death there was a memorial where all his drum group people got together and played on their drums and everyone talked about him. But no funeral.

 

When the pastor of my tiny church died (like 20 members) on a Friday night, the church members came to church on Sunday morning. It was just the 20 of us and we all sat in a circle and told memories of him, one by one. The official funeral was the next day, but in my mind that was just a formality. It was that gathering on the Sunday morning that had significance.

 

A man who died recently in my church (a new one with a large congregation) didn't have a traditional funeral. He was greatly loved and the church was filled with hundreds of people who came and lots of people got up to speak about him, but there was no body or casket or meal afterward. Just the gathering of people to share memories.

Edited by Garga
  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had to do it for two parents.  It is awful.  I don't react outwardly very much to death, and so it fell on my shoulders to hold everyone together AND get all the stuff done.  I was young too, and didn't know what the heck I was doing.  I hated all of it.  Anyway, thankfully for the food stuff it seemed to take care of itself.  

 

I think funerals are the worst thing ever (especially southern funerals), and if it were up to me, they wouldn't be a thing.  

 

AMEN! I don't want my family to have to sit all dressed up making small talk at a funeral home.

 

They should be able to sit in their pajamas at home, eat pie and maybe receive guests if they feel like it.

 

I've told my girls that's what I want.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few years ago, I was talking with someone about the death of young people. Their son commented that when someone it their group of friends died (a group of partiers), it seemed like they just disappeared. Everyone moved on. It really hit me because there is a thin line between "I did something stupid yesterday" and planning the person's funeral. 

 

My dad died last year right after Thanksgiving. We didn't do Christmas last year and are buying gifts this year but not wrapping them. I have since moved into a new to us all house with my mom. She said she dreams of him often, like she's trying to place his memory in this house he never lived in. His presence is everywhere wiith pictures and some things he liked decorating the house. We are moving on, but we move around his absence, if that makes sense. 

 

But yeah, senseless deaths bother me. 

 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree on the funeral as well. I don't want one. I told my kids to just have a memorial at home with people who want to get together and share memories.

 

I know sometimes funerals probably have merit; such as this one coming for my dd's ex who is 25 and died suddenly and unexpectedly. I think for young people it probably needs to happen for closure purposes (and his mom lived out of town so, of her, very important), but the older I get, the less I can stand the thought.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

AMEN! I don't want my family to have to sit all dressed up making small talk at a funeral home.

 

They should be able to sit in their pajamas at home, eat pie and maybe receive guests if they feel like it.

 

I've told my girls that's what I want.

I've told mine something similar.  Cremate me, throw me out in a field somewhere, then if and when you feel like it, throw a party and talk about all the stupid things I've done in my life.  I don't want them to go through the torture I did.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few years ago, I was talking with someone about the death of young people. Their son commented that when someone it their group of friends died (a group of partiers), it seemed like they just disappeared. Everyone moved on. It really hit me because there is a thin line between "I did something stupid yesterday" and planning the person's funeral.

 

My dad died last year right after Thanksgiving. We didn't do Christmas last year and are buying gifts this year but not wrapping them. I have since moved into a new to us all house with my mom. She said she dreams of him often, like she's trying to place his memory in this house he never lived in. His presence is everywhere wiith pictures and some things he liked decorating the house. We are moving on, but we move around his absence, if that makes sense.

 

But yeah, senseless deaths bother me.

This is how I felt after my friend died in high school. The casket had to be closed, and there was this sense of unbelief; like he just moved away or something.

 

I just think it is really hard for young people to grasp the concept of death/finality, etc., and it seems funerals may be more beneficial for younger people because of that.

 

My mom left the house she and my dad shared a few years after he died (she lived in a little house we built her on our property). She had a lot of pictures of him, and in the last years of her life, she read letters he wrote her (when he was working overseas when I was a young teen) every day. She even kept some in her purse and overnight bag and would read them when we went on trips. They were married nearly 50 years, and after his death, my kids were young and kept her busy. As they grew and she spent more time alone, she began to revert back to what seemed like a mourning stage. Once the dementia came into play, I think it was the familiarity that kept her reading the letters. I was so sad for her that she missed him so terribly for so long. At least now they are reunited.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get it, too.

 

When I was 26, I lost my best friend to a long, terminal illness. There was a day, right before her memorial, I was walking up the side walk into her house - the sun was shining and neighbors were laughing. It was so surreal to realize that life just ... goes on. In my heart, it felt like the sun shouldn't even shine.

 

I'm so sorry for your DD's loss.

 

And I also hope your Christmas dinner is a huge hit.

Edited by Spryte
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't read all the replies yet, so I may be repeating something someone else has said.

 

I think doing those "normal" activities in the midst of grief is simply going through the motions. There are things that need to be done. People are depending on you, especially if you have young children as I did when I lost someone very close to me. And, for me, there was a numbness and a sense of shock or disconnectedness from it all. I wasn't "choosing" to plan a post-funeral gathering because it was fun. I did it because it was necessary to make plans for the comfort of those coming (often at a distance) to support our family and pay their respects. I think part of the brain just goes on automatic pilot while the heart and the rest of the brain process the trauma of what's happened. My two cents only.

 

My sympathies to your DD.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stacey, I totally get it. My BIL died in a horrific and tragic way a few years ago, and I remember being amazed that life went on for months afterward. Like, how are we laughing at jokes and being sarcastic with each other and going to work and talking about trivial household things when our world just exploded? Even my SIL at the funeral and wake was able to smile and talk and laugh when necessary. All I could think of was that if anything happens to my DH or kids, I don't think I'd be able to leave my bedroom, funeral or no funeral (though I'm sure I would actually be able to do what I had to do, in an automatic, numb kind of way). Even the other day, I was thinking how it has only been three years, and I can't believe how life went on (as it should, of course, but it blows my mind to think that it was even possible to carry on after that day :().

 

AMEN! I don't want my family to have to sit all dressed up making small talk at a funeral home.

 

They should be able to sit in their pajamas at home, eat pie and maybe receive guests if they feel like it.

 

I've told my girls that's what I want.

 

THIS! I told my kids something similar. Cremate me, and then have a big party where no one is allowed to wear black or pantyhose or uncomfortable clothes and everyone shares memories and has toasts in my honor, and whoever doesn't want to come shouldn't feel obligated to be there. Instead they should go home and grieve (or not!) however they feel appropriate. 

 

 

Edited by ILiveInFlipFlops
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I agree. When someone close to me died, I wanted to crawl through the street on my knees wailing like some old testament business. But I had to make my kids lunch. It felt ridiculous.

 

Our culture does not give (enough) space to grieve seriously imo. Community is lacking, to say the least.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree on the funeral as well. I don't want one. I told my kids to just have a memorial at home with people who want to get together and share memories.

 

I know sometimes funerals probably have merit; such as this one coming for my dd's ex who is 25 and died suddenly and unexpectedly. I think for young people it probably needs to happen for closure purposes (and his mom lived out of town so, of her, very important), but the older I get, the less I can stand the thought.

 

I hated being at my mother's funeral.  But as her daughter I guess I was expected to be there.  Although what struck me was that I thought it would be impossible, but it wasn't.  It felt very surreal. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been wrestling with similar feelings this week from the outsider's perspective--a young man from our community was murdered, I never met him but know his dad and step-mom and grandparents and little sister. His grandpa is a family friend but also our contractor for a home improvement project we're supposed to be starting and I feel so awkward about needing to make business arrangements with him when his whole family is in mourning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know what you mean.  It is very surreal.  How one day life is a certain way, and then the next day it is not.  And you really have no choice but to keep moving on.

 

It was during a time of grief that I finally understood how important traditions can be.  Not that I stick with traditions all the time;  I definitely don't.  But I realized that traditions can help you move on in life even when you don't feel like it, because they give you something to hold on to without having to think about it too much.  So as you're sitting home feeling numb and in despair and not knowing what to do, you can suddenly think, "Oh yeah, tomorrow is Easter.  I guess we should decorate eggs tonight."

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry for your daughter's loss.

 

I've dear friend of 25+ years who copes by embracing life moving on.  (she lives in another state, with no family nearby.)

the day her dh died (unexpectedly, at home, at age 38) someone called to talk to her about the cub scout troop to which her son (oldest) belonged.  - she didn't say anything about her dh - she wanted to embrace normal life.  as she said - she knew the person would be distressed she's having this normal conversation - but that was what my friend needed.  (miraculously - her kids slept through everything, medics, ambulance, etc.)

 

last spring - she unexpectedly called me.  I could tell she was upset, but she didn't want to talk about it.  so, we had a normal conversation, etc.   last month - she finally told me what happened.  her house burned down.  (her kids are all grown and out/college.)

 

my mother unexpectedly died at christmas -  dudeling was four.  preparations needed to continue.  though there were things from which I stepped back. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the hardest thing for me, was when I was on the elevator going up to see her - contemplating turning off her life support (which was done the next day. she died within minutes) - and someone getting on celebrating their loved one's recovery - and wanting me to share it with him.  I didn't say anything.  he had a right to be happy his loved one was going to recover.  there were thoughts of - we're in a hospital in the ccu/icu wing, can you be a little more sensitive???

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It bothers me tremendously how life just keeps moving, and even amongst the tragedy you have to deal with mundane, everyday crap.

 

I realize that's probably what keeps people sane, but it just seems so... wrong.

 

There's no other choice. What would stopping and not dealing with everyday things look like? Nothing good. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree. I've not had to plan the funeral arrangements for anyone, but I've often wondered how anyone can bear to be thinking of planning for a party when their loved one has died. Because isn't that what the dinner afterwards is? A party where everyone brings food or goes out to eat? If it's in a home you have to plan about paper plates and extra seating and make sure there's enough toilet paper etc. Just like planning a party.

 

I'm sure other cultures handle death differently from us.

In my family culture, after the funeral service everyone sits down to a catered vegetarian lunch in a reserved place big enough to be a hotel ballroom. A relative or two would help do the catering arrangements for the immediate family so that is one less burden on immediate kin. My ancestors are mostly Buddhist so the vegetarian tradition stays.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will say that something good about the southern funeral culture is that the Church Ladies do all the meal prep planning and clean up. I'm the church gal in charge of our automated callling system. When someone has a loss, over 40 people are contacted to help with everything. Last week, I went over to a friends home who'd lost a parent. I dropped off cereal, fruit and veggies. They had casseroles all over the place and people glad to help out.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It does feel absurd doesn't it? Like when there is something so momentous there should be some sort of solemnity or pause, but the world keeps turning and sun keeps shining just like before. That's one of those oddities of grief but I think it can be a blessing, too - keeps our feet moving when we would otherwise be totally paralyzed.

 

Culturally I wish there was a more enforced or standardized grieving period in the US. I do think we are missing something by not allowing some sort of sequestering or cloistering and a ceremony for the end of grief to mark a clean, well defined period for the bulk of it. Or even just a uniform or head cloth or something to signal to the world the person is set apart in grief and not at 100%. I think our society just expects everyone walking around to be all there and all good and so many are more like the walking wounded :(

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get it.

 

I remember being in the limo after we buried my mom and looking out the window at the passersby and thinking they never knew she existed. They don't know or really care that she's gone.

 

And I wend home and wondered at how I could eat and sleep and fold laundry and clean when my heart was broken. It's so disconcerting.

This is EXACTLY how I felt when my husband died.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was at the hospital last Wednesday when they took my sister off of life support.

 

While waiting for the elevator to go to ICU the lobby was bustling and the lyric that was blaring at that moment was "it's the most wonderful time of the year".

 

It was like a swirling dream sequence...surreal.

Ouch. It seems like that should be on the hospital's ban list for mood music!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's no other choice. What would stopping and not dealing with everyday things look like? Nothing good. 

 

I honestly think if we could actually be allowed the space to really deal with it, by stopping every day obligations, or communally lessening them as much as possible, grief would be SO much easier to deal with.

 

There is no magic bullet, but death of very loved ones is by its nature traumatic. It rocks your world. We need a beat to adjust.

 

I dunno. People think it's reasonable to take a vactaion from regular life just because. Just for fun. Just because we can.

 

But what we really need, imo, is two weeks at least after a death. To just go through it. To not have to keep pushing it aside to make room for proverbial soccer practices.

 

It's like how after you have a baby....you need TIME. To heal, yes, but to exist in this new way that you're going to exist from here on out. But life rarely affords us enough time.

 

I do realize some people just don't  need any of this, but some do, and there's next to no way to get it.

 

I was just listening to Nikki Giovani being interviewed and one of the things she said was she had her mother pass away, and someone else she was close to, and then her dog, all very close to one another. She said she just got on the next cruise that was leaving and just left to go be somewhere to grieve. No worries about work, or meals, or other people or anything else....Because if you stay at home in your regular life, unless other people can and are willing to carve out that space for you, you inevitably end up dealing with the same same same which pushes out the grief, and dilutes it, so that you have to swallow it over a longer period of time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know how I feel about the whole wake/funeral system.

 

I personally hate it. It's like "your world just fell apart...Here's a job.". All the tasks keep you busy but for me it just delays stuff.

 

I was very close to my mum and was in my twenties when she died. People would walk in, see me, then burst into tears and I would console *them*. "Being strong" stuck and I ended up stumbling along on my own.

 

It makes me really adamant to be there for my sister's kids.

 

OTOH, my late father specified "no wake, no funeral, later have a memorial service" and my sibs ignored that because the wake/funeral thing was a consolation to them. So I don't know how I feel.

 

Our culture lacks the idea of convelescing, imo. Easing back into the mundane.

 

I wish we did the black armband thing and that everyone knew what it meant and was kind as those in mourning stumble around making sense of life going on.

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know how I feel about the whole wake/funeral system.

 

I personally hate it. It's like "your world just fell apart...Here's a job.". All the tasks keep you busy but for me it just delays stuff.

 

I was very close to my mum and was in my twenties when she died. People would walk in, see me, then burst into tears and I would console *them*. "Being strong" stuck and I ended up stumbling along on my own.

 

It makes me really adamant to be there for my sister's kids.

 

OTOH, my late father specified "no wake, no funeral, later have a memorial service" and my sibs ignored that because the wake/funeral thing was a consolation to them. So I don't know how I feel.

 

Our culture lacks the idea of convelescing, imo. Easing back into the mundane.

 

I wish we did the black armband thing and that everyone knew what it meant and was kind as those in mourning stumble around making sense of life going on.

 

It's as if in doing away with those customs, we've somehow pushed grief into the closet. Grief is private, absolutely. But it might be--I dunno, healthier-if we also acknowledged it more publicly for a longer time. If only so we knew who might need that extra dose of kindness and compassion.

 

So sorry, happi duck.

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get it. I really do. When my dad was terminally ill back in 2003, my then almost 5 year old daughter and I were able to 

fly out and spend the last 3 weeks of his life with him. I'm pretty sure that helped in the grieving process because I had done

so much of it before he was gone. However, I do remember thinking how strange it was that other parts of life just continued

right along as though nothing major had happened. And, honestly, to the majority nothing major HAD happened. It really is all

about perspective and connection. And there's nothing easy about it. But you're right in that the day-to-day tasks that have to get

done, maintaining as normal a routine as possible, is what keeps us sane after that. As Elizabeth Elliot's mom told her, when she said

she didn't know what to do, after her husband Jim had been killed, "Just do the next thing." Meaning, do the dishes need to be washed?

Wash the dishes. Does the baby's diaper need changing? Change the diaper. Do the mundane. For even if you can't get yourself to do 

something new, do what you've always done and let the familiarity of it comfort you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We have dealt with a lot of loss lately.

I don't find it wrong, just strange feeling. Seems like things should pause for a bit.

 

 

I always think last week at this time, he/she was still here...To those who are affected by someone's death, it seems impossible how the sun can rise and set again as if nothing happened.

 

 

I agree. I've not had to plan the funeral arrangements for anyone, but I've often wondered how anyone can bear to be thinking of planning for a party when their loved one has died. Because isn't that what the dinner afterwards is? A party where everyone brings food or goes out to eat? If it's in a home you have to plan about paper plates and extra seating and make sure there's enough toilet paper etc. Just like planning a party.

 

I'm sure other cultures handle death differently from us.

 

I had Jewish friends who always said when someone dies, everything stops in their lives. They sit with the dead and the community comes together to assist. Perhaps not everywhere it happens like this but I have witnessed this in a smaller Jewish community. I know a Jewish Rabbi who, upon learning of her father's death, tore her clothes. This was an outward sign that someone had ceased to exist.

Edited by Liz CA
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It does feel absurd doesn't it? Like when there is something so momentous there should be some sort of solemnity or pause, but the world keeps turning and sun keeps shining just like before. That's one of those oddities of grief but I think it can be a blessing, too - keeps our feet moving when we would otherwise be totally paralyzed.

 

Culturally I wish there was a more enforced or standardized grieving period in the US. I do think we are missing something by not allowing some sort of sequestering or cloistering and a ceremony for the end of grief to mark a clean, well defined period for the bulk of it. Or even just a uniform or head cloth or something to signal to the world the person is set apart in grief and not at 100%. I think our society just expects everyone walking around to be all there and all good and so many are more like the walking wounded :(

 

there used to be more recognition.  dressing in black, gray, mauve, etc.  has lost most of it's meaning.  but black armbands were meant to denote grieving, so those around them would be aware.  it's all gone by the wayside.

 

I was at the hospital last Wednesday when they took my sister off of life support.

 

While waiting for the elevator to go to ICU the lobby was bustling and the lyric that was blaring at that moment was "it's the most wonderful time of the year".

 

It was like a swirling dream sequence...surreal.

 

I'm very sorry for your loss.

 

Ouch. It seems like that should be on the hospital's ban list for mood music!

 

for others - it is wonderful.  their loved one lived and will recover.  babies are born, etc.  

 

I didn't have any issue with all the christmas decorations/music (the music blurred into the background) during those few days I was doing a beside vigil before turning off my mother's life support.  while there was a dichotomy, it also grounded me.

 

as I mentioned - the hardest was the guy in the elevator in the icu/ccu wing wanting me to congratulate? him his loved one was going to recover.  i was torn between wanting to allow him the legitimate joy his loved one would recover - and tearing him a new one for his blatant insensitivity to other people when I'm contemplating removing my mother from life support.  I didn't say anything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am sorry for your daughter's loss.  She is lucky to have you at her back, supporting her as she goes through this.

 

Yes, I agree. When someone close to me died, I wanted to crawl through the street on my knees wailing like some old testament business. But I had to make my kids lunch. It felt ridiculous.

Our culture does not give (enough) space to grieve seriously imo. Community is lacking, to say the least.

 

I agree.  When ritual and community traditions help, they can help a lot... but I agree with several pp that our *wider* cultural tradition (and certainly our employer norms) are the expectation to pack it all up and move on within a few days or -- at most -- weeks.  Which is both nonsense, and cruel.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know how, or why, there became an expectation of hiding grief.  I recall my grandmother pushing me so hard to tell my "sad story of my father's death" - I came to want to tell NO ONE.  it made my life much harder.  when a 12 year old breaks down sobbing in class (which I did on a regular basis) - most kids can't handle that, and the snotty brats come out.

 

at least now there are grief support groups for kids.  they have their own perspective.  becasue children are fully dependent upon grown-ups, death really can affect them very differently.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is why Jews sit shiva for 7 days, say the Mourner's Kaddish prayer for 11 months, and avoid joyous or festive activities (even things like listening to music) during the year-long period of sheloshim.

 

To elaborate a little on what SC said, Jews in mourning do stop everything and let their extended families and community take care of the for the first seven days after a death.  The mourner doesn't change clothes, take showers, shave, go to work, nothing.  They sit wherever they are on a low chair/stool and receive visitors.  The visitors are not allowed to start a conversation; only the mourner is and they can talk as much or as little as they want.  The visitor's job is just to be there for the mourner in whatever way the mourner wants.  The community sends food and sets up the thrice daily prayers for the mourner to participate (in the home).  On  the morning of the last day of shiva, the rabbi comes and literally escorts them out of the house to join the world again.  However there are continued mourning rituals that happen through 30 days after the death, shloshim (less than shiva), and less onerous ones for 11 months after the death.  The mourner is not to participate in happy occasions (although if they are needed there, then there are allowances for that) nor listen to music, (some) men don't shave.  The mourner goes to synagogue to recite the mourner's kaddish, which is a prayer of praising G-d.  This helps the mourner to have community while they continue to process the death of their loved one.  Then one year after the death, the family has a ceremony to put up the grave marker.  Every year on the date of the death, the mourners light a candle, say special prayers, fast and do positive actions in the memory of the deceased.  There are also special prayers said during our biggest holidays in the synagogue to help remember the deceased at a time of happiness and family time.

 

Judaism (traditional) has lots of rituals and I think the ones revolving around death are the most intelligent ones....

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

To elaborate a little on what SC said, Jews in mourning do stop everything and let their extended families and community take care of the for the first seven days after a death. The mourner doesn't change clothes, take showers, shave, go to work, nothing. They sit wherever they are on a low chair/stool and receive visitors. The visitors are not allowed to start a conversation; only the mourner is and they can talk as much or as little as they want. The visitor's job is just to be there for the mourner in whatever way the mourner wants. The community sends food and sets up the thrice daily prayers for the mourner to participate (in the home). On the morning of the last day of shiva, the rabbi comes and literally escorts them out of the house to join the world again. However there are continued mourning rituals that happen through 30 days after the death, shloshim (less than shiva), and less onerous ones for 11 months after the death. The mourner is not to participate in happy occasions (although if they are needed there, then there are allowances for that) nor listen to music, (some) men don't shave. The mourner goes to synagogue to recite the mourner's kaddish, which is a prayer of praising G-d. This helps the mourner to have community while they continue to process the death of their loved one. Then one year after the death, the family has a ceremony to put up the grave marker. Every year on the date of the death, the mourners light a candle, say special prayers, fast and do positive actions in the memory of the deceased. There are also special prayers said during our biggest holidays in the synagogue to help remember the deceased at a time of happiness and family time.

 

Judaism (traditional) has lots of rituals and I think the ones revolving around death are the most intelligent ones....

And all of that would drive me nuts, because life is for the living - including showering, listening to music, and joyous occasions.

 

I'm more pragmatic when it comes to death and loss.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay well I guess more than one thing about death bothers me. I mean let's face it, it's not pleasant to think about. However, my daughter is going through this horrific loss (and it's really awful in general because when a young person dies, it's just terrible), and I post asking for prayers for her, but my next post is about what to cook with my beef tenderloin for Christmas dinner.

 

My mom died Good Friday morning, and that evening I was watching my grandchildren dye Easter eggs. We weren't able to bury her until the next Wednesday, so life was just progressing as normal and it was so very strange.

 

It bothers me tremendously how life just keeps moving, and even amongst the tragedy you have to deal with mundane, everyday crap.

 

I realize that's probably what keeps people sane, but it just seems so... wrong.

 

I remember standing in the cemetery on a bright sunny day when my sibling had died, wondering how everything and everyone could seem to just go on as normal.   

 

I get it. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To elaborate a little on what SC said, Jews in mourning do stop everything and let their extended families and community take care of the for the first seven days after a death.  The mourner doesn't change clothes, take showers, shave, go to work, nothing.  They sit wherever they are on a low chair/stool and receive visitors.  The visitors are not allowed to start a conversation; only the mourner is and they can talk as much or as little as they want.  The visitor's job is just to be there for the mourner in whatever way the mourner wants.  The community sends food and sets up the thrice daily prayers for the mourner to participate (in the home).  On  the morning of the last day of shiva, the rabbi comes and literally escorts them out of the house to join the world again.  However there are continued mourning rituals that happen through 30 days after the death, shloshim (less than shiva), and less onerous ones for 11 months after the death.  The mourner is not to participate in happy occasions (although if they are needed there, then there are allowances for that) nor listen to music, (some) men don't shave.  The mourner goes to synagogue to recite the mourner's kaddish, which is a prayer of praising G-d.  This helps the mourner to have community while they continue to process the death of their loved one.  Then one year after the death, the family has a ceremony to put up the grave marker.  Every year on the date of the death, the mourners light a candle, say special prayers, fast and do positive actions in the memory of the deceased.  There are also special prayers said during our biggest holidays in the synagogue to help remember the deceased at a time of happiness and family time.

 

Judaism (traditional) has lots of rituals and I think the ones revolving around death are the most intelligent ones....

 

I think that is really cool. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...