In the midst of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, we explore the profound impact of loss and grief during these significant Jewish holidays, offering guidance on navigating the complex emotions and traditions that accompany mourning.

Loss and grief touch everyone. It is an inevitable part of being human. How people experience these emotions can be as unique and individual as each person. 

How do we protect ourselves from the tremendous pain caused by the death of a loved one?  It is human nature to want to avoid pain. But in grief, it is better to move toward our pain.  

The expression “grief work” conveys how difficult this is to do. It is even harder to determine how to embrace your loss and grief when the holidays are upon us. How do you cope with the empty place at the table? 

It is possible, with some thought and planning, to approach the holidays with a different set of expectations — ones that include the opportunity for mourners to find solace and comfort in the customs of our holidays. Even with the heavy burden of grief, it may be possible to look toward the New Year with some expectation of comfort and peace.

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The Associated Contributors are writers from The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore.

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