Tuesday, September 1, 2009

13 Elul. Mourning and Spiritual Messages Derived from this Holiday: the Power of Choosing Life:

Photo by Frank Dobrushken
The Days of Awe invite us to see where we missed the mark in our past year of life and to realign.
During these days we look upon life and upon death and are urged to return to life giving ways of living.
For some 'choosing life' when mourning means reaching out for needed support. For some choosing life means shifting the way we look at the world, consciously choosing to look at the world and life in ways that bring peace, quietude, gratitude and joy in the midst of grief.

For some choosing life means evaluating if we have fully given ourselves to the mourning process. Whether we've tried to leave prematurely, not having allowed ourselves the time and space we need to mourn.

Choosing life when mourning also means being aware if this place of grief has become overly comfortable.

We're not shaped to stay in intense grief all our lives.

Your grief will not utterly disappear. Your bond, your connection, will remain within you for rest of your life.

People we are linked with and love who have died are part of our body, a part of who we are, and a part of our life story. By allowing ourselves to deeply mourn, the intensity of grief begins to shift and change.

One caveat, for those who have experienced the death of a child:
The loss of a child remains keenly within throughout one's life.
One learns how to survive, how to live with that loss inside oneself.
The grief of the loss of a child at any age, from a young child to an adult child, can surface quickly and sharply, with intensity throughout life.One need repeatedly, at junctures, determinedly, choose to live. Our child would demand that of us.

We need choose to connect with life.
We need to work to be connected with others and to engage in activities that bring joy and meaning.
There comes a pivatol time when you profoundly know that only you can change your life.
That no one else can do this for you.
And this turning point, this knowing, this acting, this choosing, is a path of deep spirit.

Choosing life calls us to affirm the good that exists in this world as well as that which is random, to see that which is mysterious, incomprehensible, as well that which is evil. It calls us to see the beauty that is there as well and consciously to savor it.

Choosing life calls us to claim life, to join in life, as the different people we are, in our now different circumstances.
Rabbi Vicki Hollander.
For more inspirational and supportive guidance from Rabbi Hollander, visit her website.

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