Just Precious

168 hours

Posted in book responses by Julie Meyers Pron on October 11, 2009

 

168 hours. That’s 7 full days. Its also 10,080 minutes. 604,800 seconds. It’s a long time.

It’s how long you sit and grieve when you sit Shiva.

I’ve never sat Shiva.  I can’t imagine my family sitting Shiva. Is a family full of ADHD actually expected to sit that long? (A good question to ask Rabbi).

Sitting Shiva with my family would no doubt bring about arguements. It will start with stifled anger (that’s me.) I’ll be fuming on the inside over something one of my sisters will inevitably say. But I won’t be able to sit silently for long. No, it won’t take long for me to mumble something likely sarcastic under my breath. That comment will get a giggle and an eyeroll from one sister while the other will either hear and understand it and undoubtedly reply with an angry comment back or not “get it” and need to know what was said. Which will only spawn further anger until we are entering M-family War #7584. Which will last the remaining 164 hours of Shiva.  

I wonder, though, is this a part of the Plan? Should sitting Shiva distract you as your regular family relationships kick you out of your mournful state so that you realize, quite quickly, that life does go on as usual?

Because, the days when we someday sit Shiva or mourn a lost family member together, I don’t expect my family’s own culture to disappear just because we’re suddenly embracing our Judaism. Sure, Mom will expect us all to be on our “best behavior” but a week is a long time to smile fake smiles and endure strangers’ embraces. I’m certain that, just like Tropper’s characters did, my sisters and I will argue, push, pull and distance our selves. But a week of mourning will also force upon us a time of togetherness. Time that we’ll have to spend working together. Time where we’ll have to face our differences and previous angers of our youth. What else is there to do with 168 hours?

 

This post is written in response to Jonathan Tropper’s This Is Where I Leave You, the SVMom’s Blog Book Club selection, which members received for free to read and discuss on our blogs. Read more responses to the book at http://www.svmomsblog.com/.

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One Response

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  1. Wife and Mommy said, on October 13, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    What a beautiful thought that Shiva is to distract your mournful state. Because certainly, seven days with anyone’s family would be enough to distract!


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