I’m steadily going through Grief in Our Seasons by Rabbi Kerry M. Olitzky. It’s meant to be read immediately following the death of a loved one and it’s also meant to be gone through daily. I started reading it over a year and a half after Bryan died and I definitely haven’t gone through it daily. I figured since I’m not Jewish and I’m adopting this particular Jewish tradition as an Episcopalian Christian, I can be a bit offbeat with how I go through the tradition of Kaddish. Like most things in my grief process, I’m doing things at my own pace and in my own order. This whole business of grieving goes against my modus operandi. I kind of like routine interspersed with occasional chaos – not the other way around. Since Bryan died, my life has been a bit tumultuous. It’s been hard to establish a routine and it took a while to forgive myself for that and just go with the ripples of my ever-changing life.
In the last couple of months, though, I’ve noticed that out of the disorder of grief a new routine is slowly being created. One that is post-Bryan and more in line with my new life. It gives me order which gives me peace. My new routine is still going through fits and clunky starts, but I’ve learned to continue to forgive myself and go with the flow. I allow my fledging new routine to be fluid, knowing that it’ll right itself when it’s supposed to.
I’ve also discovered an unintentional tool in creating my new routine. It was always there, but I just didn’t realize how beneficial it was in trying to establish my new routine. I read it this morning in Grief in Our Seasons and I hope I don’t get into copyright trouble with this, but it was just too good to not share. If the powers that be find this, have a little grace for this little quirky widow:
Excerpt from Grief in Our Seasons:
“Never miss the opportunity to study the word of God. It settles the mind and calms the heart.” – Rebbe Nachman of Breslov
“Study is part of the routine of Jewish living. Just as it helps shape our lives, it also shapes our mourning. So we study just a little each day. Most people think that we study in order to learn more about sacred text or to acquire an intellectual accumulation of facts and figures. Some people even believe that our quest for Jewish knowledge is now motivated by the need in this electronic age for instant, nearly limitless information. But sacred study teaches us about the slow development of an ongoing relationship with the Divine. This is especially important now that we need it most. Study is a form of prayer. To reap its benefits, we have to slow down – and bring order back into our world.”