I found this to be a really worthwhile read. I see how people “say the wrong thing” all the time because it is more about them than about the mourner… So friends, take note. This is helpful.
If I could share two things about visiting a mourner, I would encourage us to remain silent and let the one who is mourning speak first and lead the conversation. Second, stop bringing them cake. They aren’t hosting friends over. We are to bring food for them to eat (so they don’t have to worry about basic living issues); we aren’t to bring cake for them to entertain us…
Read on here. What do you think?
By Rabbi Julie Wolkoff. D.Min., CT
At some point during shiva, I turned to my friend Steffi and made an off-hand comment – something like “mutter, mutter, mutter, class on what not to say at shiva.” Which is how I found myself giving a presentation a few days ago at LimmudBoston. To be perfectly fair, there were very few comments at shiva that landed on the “I can’t believe s/he said that” list. It was more the discomfort of those who didn’t know what to say, friends who later shared with me some of the comments that their families had gotten in the past during shiva, and some comments I got in the weeks after Bob’s death.
You can look on-line for things to say or not to say to people who are grieving. Most of the lists are very good. It’s important to remember that it’s not…
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