Grieving Schedules

by Laura

A Jewish friend asked me if I wanted to know how his people grieve. He said after 3000 years of being massacred, they’re pretty good at it. I told him sure, why not, I’ll take all the help I can get. He proceeded to explain about drawing the curtains and covering mirrors, then eventually taking one day a week to mourn, and so on and so forth. Good ideas. Better suited to someone with a large community to support them, I think. First off, if I don’t look in a mirror then I’ll take the child to camp looking like a Picasso, and that would embarrass her and she would tell me. I think I’m supposed to stay at home. Fair enough, but who will shop for dinner, cook it and clean it? No one has dropped off a casserole. No muffin baskets have arrived. It’s just me and my little family and I still have to take care of them. Also, I can’t wait 6 days to grieve. Not yet. Not when she’s my every waking thought and every thought that wakes me. Nor can I devote an entire day to grieving because, well, I have KIDS! So while I respect the Jewish way of doing things, that’s just not going to work for me.

Another friend who lost her father earlier this year suggested I try dedicating one hour a day to grieving, and if the sad thoughts present themselves at any other hour I’m to put them off until the next dedicated grieving time. That seems more reasonable. I tried that, sort of, but I’m not the most disciplined person on the planet. Far more workable than one day a week, though.

In the end, I’m most comfortable doing this. Thinking at the keyboard while the baby boy is napping and the girl is occupied.