Handling Loss Around Passover Time

Friday, March 26

Although Passover can be difficult for those grieving, there is always hope. Holiday traditions that will now occur with the absence of a loved one may be hard to navigate, especially when noticing their empty seat at the seder table. While healing takes time and strength, you can easily implement ways to remember and honor your loved ones during Passover. This will enable you to focus more on reminiscing about the beautiful celebrations spent together, rather than pondering their passing.

During Passover more so then other Jewish holidays, loss can be tougher to handle. Families have holiday-centric rituals that they practice at this time every year. For instance, the person who passed may have been the leader of the seder or the one that hid the afikomen. Continuation of these Jewish traditions proves that missing a loved one is impossible to avoid on this holiday, specifically.

If you have just recently experienced a loss, it is important to remember that it is okay to be sad or feel like you cannot attend religious services or a seder while you are mourning. You must check in with yourself to see how you are feeling; only do what you feel comfortable with at that moment in time.

If you make the personal decision to attend the seders and/or services, this will be an opportune time to reflect. Getting together with family members can be therapeutic. Speaking about those who have passed, may be difficult, but is encouraged to help mourners process the meaning of loss. Some people experience what is known as “complicated grief,” or a period of mourning that is prolonged over time without wavering in intensity. The hurt can be made less intense by talking about positive moments spent with the deceased.

If helping another individual to cope or pay tribute to the deceased, start by looking through memorabilia, like old photographs or letters with them. Continue a special tradition that your loved one started, or feature their favorite food at the seder. Display pictures or include some of their prized possessions or favorite items in the decorations around the home that is hosting the seder. Find a moment during the holiday gathering to reflect on the legacy that those who have passed, left behind.

It is important to remember to never let traditions die. Keeping memories alive and getting together with family, can help make holidays feel less lonely. It is possible to get through this now and next year on Passover, feel ready to unbox the memories and seat them at the table alongside those present.

At Star of David Memorial Chapels in Long Island, New York, our funeral directors are here to help provide guidance with questions pertaining to burial, funeral services, and cremation. Please contact us at 631-454-9600.

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