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Note to Jewish grievers: Apples and Honey for A Sweet New Year

Updated: Jan 9

By Jill S. Cohen, NYC family grief counselor

All over the world, Jewish people are celebrating Rosh Hashanah, the start of a new year on the Jewish Calendar, with wishes all around for a “happy and sweet new year” -- signified by dipping apples into honey, and greeting one another with “Shana Tova”, the Hebrew words for the greeting “A good year”.

For those in mourning periods or grief-stricken from the recent death of a loved one, it’s hard to imagine a “good year” coming up. However, this time of the year, when the holiday presents the opportunity to wish and hope for a “good year,” it is a great opportunity for those in grief to take a moment to reflect on what “good year” what might look like.

It doesn’t mean that “grief ends” or anything extreme like that. But, it might mean that you…

  • Adjust to your new normal a little bit more each day

  • Reframe your sadness by acknowledging beautiful memories

  • Continue your bonds with your loved ones through thoughts and actions

  • Focus better at school, work, parenting, and other daily activities

  • Accept support from your friends, relatives, and neighbors when they offer

  • Take a vacation for a change of scenery, to renew and reinvigorate yourself

  • Sleep better at night, with fewer nightmares and anxiety

  • Return to exercise to lift your spirits and release tension

  • Name any other things that might mean a “good year” for you

If you take a few moments this holiday season to reflect on this, I think that you might see that the possibility of “a good year” does lie ahead.

Remember, we know that we don’t stop grieving and bury it forever, but we find a new way to incorporate our loved one into our life. We don’t “move on,” but we “move forward”.

And so, I wish anyone for whom this phrase is relevant, a “Shana Tovah” … my wish to you for a “good year” ahead.

For more information on grief counseling, visit www.jillgriefcounselor.com and click Do You Need a Grief Counselor? on the navigation bar.


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