Judaism provides a beautiful, structured approach to mourning that involves three stages.
When followed carefully, these stages guide mourners through the tragic loss and pain and gradually ease them back into the world.
With some exceptions, a mourner refrains from going to work during the week of shiva.
Consult your rabbi if pressing financial matters are at hand.
Others must take care of any errands or outside commitments for them.
To be seen during the day in public would force one to put on a "public face" which is inappropriate during this time.
It is best for mourners to move into the shiva house together for the week.
When you look at the candle, remember that your loved one's soul is eternal.
This thought can help bring light into the darkness in which you are now immersed.
The loss is forever, but the psychological, emotional, and spiritual healing that takes place at every stage is necessary and healthy.
This article will examine the following topics: Stage one: shiva Sitting shiva Arranging the shiva house After the cemetery Timing of shiva Paying a shiva call Prayer services Leaving a shiva house The three day "shiva" Getting up from shiva Stage two: shloshim Stage three: the one-year period Annual remembrances: yizkor Yahrtzeit Unveiling of tombstone Visiting the cemetery Grief and bereavement After the burial, the immediate mourners return to a home called the "shiva house," to begin a seven day period of intense mourning. This week is called "sitting shiva," and is an emotionally and spiritually healing time where the mourners sit low, dwell together, and friends and loved ones come to comfort them with short visits referred to as "shiva calls." A person sits shiva after having lost a parent, spouse, sibling, or child.
We experience an overall feeling of physical discomfort as we totally focus on the soul of the one who has departed.