Thursday, June 5, 2008


The curious word that serves as the title to this entry (pronounced 'Slow-sheem') is the Hebrew word for "thirty," and in the Jewish death ritual it pertains to the thirty days immediately following the death of a loved one. It marks a period of more or less unrestrained mourning and unbridled outpouring of grief. One is expected to stay somewhat withdrawn from society (for example, among its rules are that one should not cut one's hair, shave, or even bathe (!) for the duration of s'loshim). It's actually a comfort; I have found that being immersed to an extent in grief is, however painful, something that I realize to be necessary.

But today marks the end of s'loshim for the death of my father, and my symbolic re-entry into society at large. Indeed this morning I shaved for the first time in a month - although I have bathed; believe me, you don't want any part of me if I haven't bathed in 30 hours let alone 30 days.

And I find myself ready to make this re-entry; or should I say, as ready as I will ever be. I discuss my father's passing now with a certain reluctance - not because it's painful but just because I grow tired of the subject. And really, after a time nobody wants to hear tales of someone else's pain, no matter how close that person is to you. After a while - 30 days, say - you just have to put certain things away until they're specifically called for, and resume living your life.

I'll never forget my father and the monumental impact he had on my life. I'll never completely get over the pain of his passing, not if I live to be 120. But this entry is very likely the last you'll hear of me discussing my dad in this way, aside from an offhand remark here or there.

For it is time to move on, and ready or not, here I come.

Goodbye, Dad. I love you and will miss you forever.

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