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Old 10-25-2011, 10:35 AM   #21
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Sue,
Very sorry for your loss.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:46 AM   #22
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Sue, so sorry to hear of your loss.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:49 AM   #23
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Dying quickly and suddenly in your own home sounds like a decent way to go.
Bless your heart, Sue. I am so sorry for your loss. The above struck me as well, and your father has been grieving for her a long time, from the sound of things.

Take care.
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Old 10-25-2011, 11:55 AM   #24
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Sorry to hear of your loss Sue.

I second Nords idea that you suggest to your Dad that you have a way to get access to his on-line accounts when the time comes. When MIL died FIL didn't know any of the on-line passwords, and it was a real hassle getting them reset at a time when there is so much bad stuff going on. FIL then made sure his son knew the on-line details, which was just as well, as he passed unexpectedly 6 months later.
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Old 10-25-2011, 12:09 PM   #25
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Dying quickly and suddenly in your own home sounds like a decent way to go.
That's how my brother went (although way too young), and I hope I get that chance too. I'm very sorry for your loss. Take care and continue to cherish your remaining family.
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Old 10-25-2011, 12:14 PM   #26
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I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your Mother.
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Old 10-25-2011, 12:19 PM   #27
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I am so sorry for your loss also. My mother also died at home, sitting down reading the newspaper. It was very unexpected and quite a shock, but I hope to go as quickly. I am glad to hear that you have quite a bit of support for the funeral.
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Old 10-25-2011, 01:29 PM   #28
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Sue,

I'm so sorry for your loss.
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Old 10-25-2011, 02:21 PM   #29
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I'm very sorry to hear about your loss, Sue. We lost my mom in February and I know what a hole it makes in the heart. My condolences to you and your family.

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Old 10-25-2011, 06:07 PM   #30
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Take care, Sue.
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Old 10-28-2011, 11:40 AM   #31
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Thank you all for your kind words and suggestions.

The funeral was Wednesday and my sister's rabbi did a lovely eulogy. My sons and husband were pallbearers. My Dad said he (and Mom) wanted a plain pine box casket (wooden pegs, no nails) which is common for Jewish burials so there was no need to consider the other options. For Jews it's all about allowing nature to take it's course rather than trying to preserve or delay the process. No embalming and the body is not displayed for viewing except for those of us who wish to have a last look and for one of us (me) to sign the identification papers.

She liked to dress simply but always added a colorful scarf so we picked out a favorite one for her. My Dad was very comfortable with everything we did.

A few Jewish customs that I appreciated -

The mourners (Dad, sister and I) wore small black ribbons pinned to our clothing. In a quick ceremony before the funeral you tear the black ribbon to symbolize that your heart is torn. Orthodox Jews actually tear their clothing, this a modified symbol.

The mourners can toss a handful of dirt into the grave before leaving or if you'd like to you can use shovels until it's full. They provided a couple of shovels and after the 3 of us, everyone else took turns. My sons filled it to the top. It might sound gruesome but it's kind of cathartic.

Jewish funeral food is THE BEST. Lox and bagels, smoked fish, egg salad, tuna salad, cheeses and fruit. Every Sunday my parents had lunch at their favorite deli and she would order blintzes (crepes filled with ricotta cheese) and applesauce. She was pretty small near the end and she could finish off 2 of these huge blintzes! So we included blintzes and applesauce for lunch after the funeral.

The funeral home gave each of us a large candle in a glass jar to take home and light and leave it lit until it burns out, 7 days later. Mine is in the kitchen and this morning I was up early and it was still dark out. There was a nice glow coming from the kitchen. It felt good.

My Dad is managing. The last few days have been very tiring but he appreciates the support. In his head he's anxious to move on to his life alone, he's been assessing all the things he no longer has to do and how his daily routine can be simplified.

Today I'm home, taking it easy and absorbing it all. Tomorrow my sister and I will go to our Dad's and go through her things. My Dad has all the memories, he doesn't want the reminders of her stuff. And I think he wants the closet space. Clothes will be donated unless my sister wants something. My mom didn't care for flashy jewelry and my sister and I have very different taste so we'll see if there is anything we need to keep.
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:55 PM   #32
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Thank you so much, Sue, for sharing these traditions with us.
I find it both fascinating and very reassuring to see that you and your family were comforted by them and how they connect you to the deceased and to the community at large.
I especially liked the candle that remains burning for 7 days.
Thoughts and prayers to you and your family in the days and weeks to come.
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:03 PM   #33
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I agree Sue, you must be going through a lot, and the traditions are helpful to keep you grounded. Keep the fond memories in mind, and rely on your friends and family. My prayers are with you.

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Old 10-28-2011, 03:25 PM   #34
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I am sorry for you loss, Sue. It sounds like you have a wonderful support system.
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Old 11-02-2011, 03:49 PM   #35
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Ditto on the condolences, and thanks for sharing about the traditions. I found them very interesting and am glad they provided you and your family some comfort.

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Old 11-02-2011, 04:05 PM   #36
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Belated condolences - I missed the original post. Your dad sounds very together - he will probably do just fine with your help.

Mine both died within 8 months of one another. I know it really hurts. Best wishes.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:46 PM   #37
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Thank you for your update. I was especially interested in your traditions and how they help to comfort you. God bless and comfort you and your family.
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Old 11-03-2011, 09:23 AM   #38
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I would like to offer my belated condolences as I just read this post. I lost my Dad at 29 and it is never easy. I hope you are feeling better each day.
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Old 11-03-2011, 08:27 PM   #39
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Sue,

So sorry to hear of your loss.

Thanks for sharing the rituals. They make a lot of sense to me.

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Old 11-03-2011, 09:13 PM   #40
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Very sorry for your loss.

I did not realize that tossing dirt into the grave was a Jewish custom. The first time I saw this was at a Protestant funeral in Germany. I found it very moving and suggested to my family that we do the same at my father's burial. Everyone appreciated this opportunity for a final "good bye" to his physical remains.
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