I'm joining belately our friends ( I was abroad) and would like to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. However old we are, after loosing a parent we feel orphans. I thing you were right to bring up this topic. As Lady wrote, we Jews have a period of seven days of mourning ( shiva=seven), during which the close family ( parents/ wife/husband/children) stay at home, actually the religious people sit down on the floor, "close to the earth" . During this period, friends and family come to sit with the bereaved, and the constant talking about the loved one, looking at photos,
the fact that they are never alone, helps a lot during these first days. As the family is not allowed to cook, everyone brings food, and everyone eats and drinks freely. At the end of the day everyone is exhausted and sleep comes easier.
Your post reminded me, -a childhood memory-,a custom from my native romania. We had many rumanian friends of the greek orthodox religion. When my best friend's grandma died, I saw the first time the traditionl "cake of the dead" named COLIVA. I remeber a big round quite flat mould, covered with powdered sugar and coloured candies. I looked in my romanian cookbok after I read your post, and I found the ingredients: it's made of cooked wheat, enriched with grated walnuts, raisins, sugar, lemon and orange grind, vanilla flavour and covered with a thick layer of powdered sugar and ornated with candies. I don't remeber the taste as I was afraid of tasting it: it was associated in my mind with death, not with a cake. But I think how wise it is to have something sweet , as if trying to soften the sorrow.
May you never know sorrow again,
Having had all three of my children born at home and facing the last half of my and my husband's lives, I find this a comforting possibility. _________________ God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
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