We are about to finish the Three Week period of time when many Jews remember the period of time between the breach of the walls of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple. Some Jews choose to follow mourning customs during the weeks, restricting entertainment, music, and celebrations. (More information in a My Jewish Learning article.)
This year, for the first time, I have been a personal mourner during these weeks. Mourning the sudden death of my mother-in-law has been a challenge. This loss has been different and harder than any other I’ve experienced. As during previous losses, the rhythms, rituals and concepts of Jewish mourning guide and comfort us.
I’ve felt a bit disconnected with the communal/historical mourning for our losses so many years ago (we mourn not only for the losses of the Temples but many tragedies that befell the Jewish people on and around Tisha B’Av – like the onset of the Inquisition). Perhaps it is that our personal loss is too consuming right now to have a wider perspective. Perhaps it is because handling work, moving, grieving, the “work” that comes with a death, worrying about my husband, and the daily stuff of life is enough. Perhaps it is something else that I haven’t been able to identify yet.
Have you had a similar experience where a personal loss has changed your connection to a communal commemoration or celebration?