Note to Jewish grievers: Enjoy Some Apples and Honey for A Sweet New Year (Anyway)
By Jill S. Cohen, NYC family grief counselor
All over the world, Jewish people will soon be 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,” a griever can take a moment to reflect on what a “good year” what might look like, especially in the context of having experienced the death of a loved one.
For sure, it doesn’t mean that “grief ends.” 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” can 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 my readers a “Shana Tovah” … a “good year” ahead.
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