The months after bereavement are often challenging and draining, as mourners experience waves and cycles of grief. Rabbi Weiner is available for counseling, resources and prayer throughout, and the following ritual observances may help give shape to the time of mourning.
Aninut is the liminal time between death and burial of a loved one. During this time, the mourners’ only obligation is to make arrangements for the funeral and burial.
Shiva begins at the moment the casket is covered and continues for seven days, inclusive of the day of the funeral. Shiva does not take place on shabbat. Its observance includes the opening of the home of a bereaved relative to members of the community who wish to offer condolences. Those observing shiva will often abstain from ordinary activities like liquor, wearing leather shoes, shaving, looking in mirrors, preparing their own meals and leaving the house. They will usually continue to wear the torn piece of clothing from the burial and refrain from returning to work. Often some daily services are held in the mourner’s home to facilitate their recitation of kaddish. The end of shiva is marked by a walk around the block.
Sheloshim fills out the thirty days after burial. During this time, many mourners will continue to abstain from parties, alcohol and live music. For thirty days after the death of a sibling, child or spouse, the mourner recites kaddish whenever s/he participates in minyan. After the death of a parent, this period is extended to eleven months.