The High-Holidays are supposed to be a time of reflection, optimism, and joy. Given what has become a culture of distancing, the pressure to try and hold onto some form of family togetherness, and the weight of mourning a loss, this time of year can be very painful.
In normal times, even the most wonderful can be a painful reminder of a loss. Watching others enjoy time with loved ones can stand in stark contrast to the loneliness you feel without your friend or family member by your side.
At Jerusalem Memorial Chapels, we hope you know you are not alone. If you require help, please reach out to us. We can connect you with aftercare resources local to you on Long Island. But we also want to give you some practical ideas, right here on our blog, on how to not only get you through the holidays but perhaps even help you find your joy.
It’s ok to take care of yourself.
You might find the traditions you’re used to participating in are simply too painful for you this year. That’s perfectly ok. Don’t let external pressure force you into something that is going to increase your pain. It’s ok to excuse yourself from some traditions. The people who love you will understand and support you.
• Get plenty of Rest.
• Don’t overindulge
• Find the time for a little bit of exercise every day – even if it’s a walk around the block.
Everyone’s grieving process looks different. Don’t compare your journey to what you read about in grief resources. Allow yourself to feel the way you think, even if it’s anger, sadness, happiness, or joy.
One of the best ways to express the meaning of the High Holidays is by helping others. There are plenty of opportunities for reaching out to those in need. Contact your local JCC, Temple, or Community center to ask how you can help get involved. You might be surprised how it lifts your spirits!
Above all else, remember that this time of year isn’t about what you eat, where you pray, or what you wear – it’s about the most genuine gift of all – love. Reflect on the love you gave and received to the person you lost. Nothing – not even physical separation – can take that away.