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Things I have Learned About Grief from Jewish Mourning Traditions

It used to be that when I'd drive past a cemetery and if I saw a person sitting by a grave, or standing over a grave, my heart would sink, but I didn't really get it. What was their story? What were they thinking? Why were they drawn to a plot of land with stones, when the soul of the person was not in that ground?


I get it now. I am that person. I have a story. There's a piece of granite in a countryside cemetery that has our son's name etched in it, proclaiming that he was. He existed. He was born. He lived. He was here. He was loved and cherished. He was and will always be our boy.

Throughout this grief journey, there have been countless times where I have almost wished I were Jewish. I think, in general, our western society has absolutely no idea what to do with grief. Jewish tradition truly has this grief thing down. In Jewish tradition, they tear their garment to recognize the loss, that our hearts are torn. It also symbolizes that our body is only a garment tha…

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