I think the best time to talk about death is on a summer day when dying seems preposterous and one can’t be sad because the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping and all is right with the world. So let’s take a moment and talk about Death and Mourning while it is not at our elbow.
When someone dies
We’ve talked about shiva in the past – the Jewish ritual of honoring the death of someone. I came upon this excellent outline resource* from Temple Emanu-el of San Francisco on how to behave in a house of mourning, how to speak and how to remain silent. Note that when going to shiva, a person may not know the deceased or the mourners; it is a mitzvah (a commandment) to attend the house of mourning to be sure there is a minyan (10 Jews) which is necessary to say Kaddish (a special prayer). Therefore, you or your partner may attend a shiva simply to do good.
Here is the resource I mentioned.
*Shiva Minyan Instructions
If you have more questions, these articles may help:
What If One of Us Dies?
and Sitting Shiva
If you still have questions please do not hesitate to call or email me.
I have a friend who is a Funeral Director and has worked with many interfaith families with sensitivity and kindness. I am in discussion with her about offering a workshop. Please let me know if you are interested in this type of program.