Grief is a painful process and one that everyone deals with in very different ways. When we lose someone close to us, we enter a world of grief and mourning. There is no right or wrong way to grieve or official mourning period. The way in which you grieve is the way you need to in order to get through this difficult time.
There are said to be different stages of grieve that include: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Many books have been written about these stages such as Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ “On Death and Dying.” Kubler-Ross’ main theory is that no two people experience these five stages in precisely the same way. For some, denial can take minutes; for others, decades.
Another helpful book is written by Rabbi Maurice Lamm, “The Jewish Way in Death and Mourning.” Rabbi Lamm explores a myriad of issues connected to grief and mourning. He writes about the process of mourning and how we deal with the death of a close relative as time goes by. He says at one point we experience an uncommon confusion, a dislocation, a form of discontinuity. We are disoriented. “Disorientation” is what grief is all about when we are now struggling to deal with this new reality and life without our loved one.
Now more than ever, our loved ones need our support. The most important thing you can do for a grieving person is simply be present. Your support and caring will help a loved one during this difficult time and help him or her begin to heal.
There are many other books and resources to consult during the healing process. Visit the website of the National Association of Chevra Kadisha for a list resources and educational materials: https://www.nasck.org/resources-education.
There are many helpful organizations and websites, such as https://grief.com that provide support to people who are mourning. Many synagogues and Jewish communities have grief support groups, which are often coordinated through the local Jewish federation. Visit to learn more: https://www.jewishfederations.org.