Things I never thought I’d say about death

I’ve said a couple of things about death this week I never thought I’d hear come out of my mouth. The day before my mom died alone in her apartment (sad news, I know), I tried talking her into signing a DNR so she could go into hospice. She said she wanted them to do everything they could to save her life. I said, as gently as I could, “Well… Mom… people who know they’re dying don’t ask people to save their lives. Death is part of the dying process.”

The next day, when I got the call that she died, I was in shock – not surprised, sadly, but shaken. I told my (gentile) husband I wanted to sit shiva but needed a refresher on how. He went to get one of my Jewish books for me, and instead of bringing A Handbook of Jewish Living, he brought The Jewish Holidays. He was looking in the index saying, “Shiva… Shiva… I see Shabbat but nothing about shiva.” I looked at the cover of the book and said, “Death is not a holiday. “

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