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Tuesday, 9 February 2010

The initial days have been compared to an earthquake.

The separation between body and soul is still reverberating in the house. The rebuilding cannot begin until the shaking has ended.

But what happens after the shaking has ceased but before the rebuilding has begun?

The period between death and burial is called אנינות. There are no obligations for the mourner than to mourn. In fact, there are many normal obligations from which the mourner is exempt.

Which leaves the mourners a bit at odds. After the funeral arrangements have been made, then what?

Grandma died forty-five hours ago. We have been together every day. We talk about Grandma. Then we wander around the house. Doing busy work. Being sad. Laughing. And starting all over again.

There is much wisdom in burying quickly. Moves from the unstructred to the structured…

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Wednesday, 10 February 2010 1:41 am

    Baruch Dayan Emet.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Wednesday, 17 February 2010 9:50 pm

      Thank you.

  2. Dadgifaffe permalink
    Thursday, 11 February 2010 3:59 am

    If only we could have followed the Tradition! We would have had the funeral much sooner, but another congregant died hours earler, and we rabbis had to tend that that family’s needs in the midst of our own grief. This is often a challenging life to which God has called us.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Wednesday, 17 February 2010 9:51 pm

      Yes, I ought to have explained the reason for the delay. Thanks for adding the info.

      This experience reiterated our ancient wisdom of burying our loved ones quickly in order to begin the mourning process.

  3. Friday, 12 February 2010 9:26 pm

    I am crying reading this. Do you know my gram died nearly one month ago to the day. While the raw anguish is a little better now, my family and I feel there is still much more mourning to do.

    I want to tell you something that can help. This is what I’ve got so far (not sure if you’ve read it yet):

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Thursday, 18 February 2010 12:25 am

      I read your post. I read it on the day it was written. The day my grandmother was supposed to have surgery. I tried to respond. I thought that I had. Perhaps my blurred eyes only thought I had sent my response. It helped me think through how I wanted to spend my grandmother’s remaining days. Such honest and beautiful words you shared.

      Thank you so much for understanding.

  4. Monday, 15 February 2010 3:00 pm

    my heart hurts for your loss. i am happy that you have such a strong support system around you and am sending good thoughts to you and yours.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Friday, 19 February 2010 6:33 pm

      Thank you for sharing your kind words and thoughts.

  5. Raphaela permalink
    Wednesday, 17 February 2010 5:51 pm

    Hi Rabbi,
    I attended a funeral in Orange County that you conducted for Judy S. and I asked you for the name of the Author of the beautiful piece that you read at the end of the funeral. I think that you said it was by a Rabbi with the last name of Leib, however I am not able to locate it anywhere.
    I wonder if you could please email his info to me?
    Thanks so much.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Friday, 19 February 2010 6:33 pm


      You were close!

      The author of the quote is Rabbi Joshua Loth Liebman, z”l. It is a passage from his best-selling work, Peace of Mind. It is located in the chapter entitled “Intimations of Our Immortality.”

      Kol Tuv!

  6. Ellie Miller permalink
    Wednesday, 17 February 2010 6:09 pm

    Hi “Frume Sarah,”

    I am so sorry to hear that your grandmother passed away. My grandmother died on the exact same day 5 years ago.

    My thoughts are with you.


    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Friday, 19 February 2010 6:34 pm

      Thanks, El. We are both blessed to have had such strong women in our lives for so long. So it is such a loss when they are gone…

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