Earlier this month, my 89-year father passed away. He lived a long, extraordinary life and death. I am forever grateful for his journey and for our close relationship. It is too soon for me to write about him but I want to share an article I wrote for L’Chaim magazine on Shiva, the seven-day Jewish mourning period. It was coincidentally published days before my dad passed. The article is entitled, “Shiva: A Profoundly Mindful Judaic Ritual.”
Last week, I learned of another interpretive aspect of Shiva from my Rabbi. He explained that one of the reasons Shiva lasts seven days pertains to the biblical canon that the world was created in seven days. Per this interpretation, when we lose someone close to us, our world as we knew it also dies. This forces us to re-create our world without the person in it.
I love these interpretations of mourning and rebuilding, both on a micro and macro level. It resonates for me as I grieve and navigate life without dad, and it resonates for me as I grieve and navigate life amidst a pandemic. Both entail mourning and both necessitate conscious living among broken and disrupted circumstances. It is undeniable that all of our lives are in transition as we shift from what was a “temporary” disruption to an indefinite normal. I wish us all awareness, grace and conscious intention as we continue to rebuild our lives, and create a fulfilling new normal, amidst a pandemic.