I get posts on my Facebook page from a website called My Jewish Learning. The latest one that caught my attention was about Sheloshim, the thirty day period after a burial. It infers that that one month period acts as a link between the time a mourner gives vent to her profound grief when one refrains from normal everyday activities and the time when she transforms into the person she will have to present to the outside world as she tries to move into her new life after a loss. I understand that during those thirty days, the attempt at grasping the reality of a new way of living is supposed to begin. For some, however, it doesn't work that way.
I've often wondered why thirty days. The following quote which came from the article on the website offers a bit of insight:
"Rabbi Chaim Shreiber has explained why this time frame matters: "The Jewish calendar is based on the moon. Just as the moon waxes and wanes in a cyclical period, the 30 days of mourning are an opportunity for the closing of a full emotional circle. The process begins with the funeral and the first days of shiva, when one can't even see a glimmer of light. With the passing of time, the light returns in stages, and waxes more and more. Thirty days is an important period of time, a time for renewal and grasping a new reality."
In looking back at my Sheloshim period, I'm not sure I would characterize it as a time when the light began to return. In truth, at least for me, what did rear its head during that time was all the legal and financial stuff I now had to contend with and the worry about those things that ensued. That worry was my new reality and interfered with my ability to begin adjusting during that Sheloshim period. It was only after I was able to wade through and take care of all that stuff that I was able to concentrate on the enormity of what had happened. That's when the real work of adjusting to reality started for me. I consciously began that adjustment long after that thirty day period. It's a slow process for me as that adjustment continues.
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