Monday, June 14, 2010

Blue June :(

Last year, my mother died on our wedding anniversary, June 12.

This year, within the two weeks preceding our anniversary:
  • Israel faced a major international crisis as a result of the Gaza flotilla fiasco;
  • I observed my mother's first yahrzeit (anniversary of death, according to the Jewish calendar);
  • We found out that a relative, disabled and unemployed for over a decade, is in even worse financial shape than we'd thought--a request for monetary assistance seems more and more likely;
  • My husband underwent hernia surgery;
  • My Israeli brother e-mailed the news that our father was hospitalized with pneumonia, and suggested that we three American siblings start writing eulogies;
  • My husband observed his mother's yahrzeit. (June 12, 2011 correction: My husband's mother's yahrzeit is after my mother's, not before.)

The good news is that, according to yesterday's e-mail update from Israel, my father's doing much better. But I can't help remembering that my mother was never really well again after she was hospitalized with pneumonia, and died about six months later.

So here I am, just recently out of aveilut (my year of mourning). I'm listening to my CDs again, and am eagerly awaiting my first opportunity in over a year to go to a live concert . But I'm almost afraid to enjoy myself.

For openers, given my father's health, I just don't know how long it will be before I have to say Kaddish again. Nor do I know whether, having finally sent our son off to graduate school, where he's almost entirely self-supporting, we might have to subsidize yet another relative's income, this time probably for the rest of our lives.

So please excuse me for having the blues.


Blogger Larry Lennhoff said...

Is your father observant? When my dad died, my mother was extremely distressed we observed traditional mourning customs and did not attend family simchas and the like. We consulted a rav who told us that my mother could waive her own kavod and tell us that during our year of mourning for her (at 120) we could attend simchas, etc. She gave us permission, which thank G-d we have not needed yet.

If you think there are aspects of your mourning year your Dad would rather not have you follow, and if you are comfortable talking about these things with him, you might consider doing what we did.

Tue Jun 15, 09:25:00 AM 2010  
Blogger Jendeis said...

I'm sorry you're feeling so down right now. Hoping that your father's health stays on the up and up.

Tue Jun 15, 10:20:00 AM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Larry, my father is not observant, and may not even have been aware of the laws of mourning back before senile dementia set it. I don't recollect the rules of aveilut ever having been discussed in my parents' home when I was growing up, not even after my grandparents died. The only practices of mourning that my parents knew about and observed were shiva, yizkor, and yahrzeit. I honestly don't remember whether either of my parents recited kaddish during their years of aveilut.

In his day, my father was a great lover of music and dance. He had records playing constantly on the phonograph. (Remember those?) He enjoyed singing, and also took the opportunity to do a little soft shoe in the dining room occasionally. He was also known for cutting a rug with his ( now late) sister at weddings. (My mother wasn't much of a dancer.) So I doubt that, were he capable of expressing a coherent opinion, he would object to me enjoying activities involving music and/or dance.

Jendeis, thanks for your kind words. My father seems to be doing better, for the time being, and I hope he stays that way for as long as he's still able to enjoy life.

Tue Jun 15, 01:42:00 PM 2010  
Anonymous Yana said...

This is a little bit odd, but I've been looking in on your blog for a while...your older relative may be eligible for many gov't assistance programs, depending on what state he/she is in. I am not shilling my services, but you may want to speak to an elder care attorney - many people think they are not eligible, but with some planning they can be! If you would like a referral, or I would be happy to give you my two cents, feel free to email me.

Sat Jun 26, 07:23:00 PM 2010  
Blogger Shira Salamone said...

Yana, I don't know whether this relative has sought the assistance of an elder-care attorney. Thanks for the suggestion.

Sun Jun 27, 01:12:00 PM 2010  

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