When a Jewish person dies, the traditional way to grieve includes sitting shiva, a seven-day mourning period when visitors arrive to comfort and care for the bereaved. At the end of the week, the…mourners "get up" and resume more of their normal activities. Some people signify "getting up" by taking a walk around the block. But when I got up from shiva after my mother's death this spring, I ran a marathon. Let me explain. I signed up for my fourth full marathon two weeks before my mother's… >> Read More
Pop singer and Jewish mother Pink stopped her concert in Australia this week to hug a teenage girl in mourning.
During the "Beautiful Trauma" singer's performance on Monday, 14-year-old Leah…Murphy waved a sign that read, "I just lost my beautiful mum. I would love a hug." Murphy's mother passed away in June and was supposed to attend the concert with her daughter. When Pink spotted the teen's sign, the crowd parted so Murphy and her aunt Katrina Donkin could make it to the front… >> Read More
“Yitgadal, v’itkadash, Sh’mei raba …”
I uttered the words of the Mourner's Kaddish — the traditional Jewish prayer recited in honor of the dead — for the first time in my life after…my father’s grave was covered with the earth. Even with the transliteration given to me by the rabbi, I found the prayer difficult to recite, in every sense of the word. Following the funeral, we sat shiva — the weeklong mourning period for first-degree relatives — at my parents’ house. We held a minyan, a quorum… >> Read More
I’m an introvert. Not a hermit, not a friendless social pariah, but someone who will fairly predictably panic before any situation in which I need to go out and interact with others. And that…includes going to synagogue every week. Because I know better than to give into my introvert fears, I push myself to be out in the world, and I’m frequently glad that I did. Social events can be tremendous fun. It’s just that I never anticipate that I will enjoy them, and I feel happily surprised… >> Read More
On the anniversary of my mother's death this past April, there was no Facebook remembrance, no photo of my beautiful, smiling mother on Instagram, and not one #RIP tweet bearing her name. A few of my…dearest friends remembered the date and texted that they were thinking of me. It’s been more than seven years since my mom died, and even as I miss her daily and dearly, life has gone on—as it tends to do, even after the worst has happened. My mother died 12 weeks after a surprising stage-four… >> Read More