Sunday, January 14, 2018

There is no timetable

Going to Erev Shabbat services is proving to be extremely difficult for me.  I've attended a few in the past four months. When I show up I'm greeted and hugged and welcomed by so many friends. When I went in November, I couldn't stop silently crying. It was awful. Every hymn sung brought searing memories that just tore my heart out.

I wasn't able to attend in December but I went again this past Friday night. I thought I'd be okay, that I would be able to contain myself. I was doing well for a short while but then the floodgates opened. Trying to be quiet while feeling the tears erupting and engulf my whole body was a near impossible situation.  It happens as the music begins. I envision Warren sitting beside me, singing his heart out. Warren couldn't hold a tune ever. I joked with him about that and described his singing ability as being "as good as Johnny-one-note." He always chuckled at that description and totally agreed. But when he sang in Hebrew, he was always in tune.

So as we sang each prayer, in my mind's eye I saw him sitting or standing next to me, singing, and I just couldn't stop the tears. I desperately tried to hold them back by stuffing tissues in my eyes. That did't help much. Friends sitting next to me became concerned but I assured them I was all right. The struggle to appear okay was difficult. I eventually got some control but I felt worn out by the end of services. I couldn't wait to get home.

This is not the way to spend a Shabbat evening.  But this is proof that grieving has no timetable.

Copyright © 2018, Reisa Sterling Miller. All Rights Reserved


  1. You're right, of course, that grieving has no timetable, but you should also never feel as though you need to hide or mask that grief.