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This is because a mourner “has no mouth,” just like an egg, which is an enclosed circle, without any hint of an opening.During the first few days of shiva, I realized how true this was.
Instead of chatting on the telephone, I will be mourning in silence.
Silence is a fitting tribute to my mother, because she understood that sometimes silence speaks louder than words.
Clever attempts at offering comfort usually fail miserably and are more likely to offend than to console. After my mother’s funeral, I sat shiva for the first time.
After having visited hundreds of shivas, this time it was me who sat hunched down in the low chair.
And these silent intrusions are actually quite welcome; it’s extremely comforting to know that I can remember my mom without even trying.
She is a part of my heart and soul, with or without anything further being said.
While silence is a large part of any mourner’s life, it feels particularly appropriate in my case: Silence was important to my mother, and she made it a large part of my upbringing, as well.
My mother was deported to Auschwitz in 1944; at the time, she was just 16 years old.
My family wasn’t very interested in Mother’s Day when I was growing up. Her philosophy was that every day you were alive should be seen as your birthday, and if you had a mother, every day should be seen as Mother’s Day; nothing more needed to be said.
So, our observance of Mother’s Day left a lot to be desired, and we usually marked the day with a casual toss of “Happy Mother’s Day” during a phone conversation.