The funeral home where we attended last month's services for Hennie Schneider — Sol Levinson & Bros. of Baltimore — offers a variety of information for mourners, presented in a sensitive, thoughtful fashion. This was extraordinarily helpful for me, particularly given the depths of my ignorance concerning Jewish custom and practice in these circumstances. And I deeply respect any institution that includes a Bereavement Library within its facilities, "... open to the public for education and grief support".

As we waited in the foyer before Hennie's ceremony I picked up a small booklet titled Prayers of Comfort and found it to be full of wise advice. In the section "How to Console":

Your visit to the mourner at home is more than a courtesy call. In Jewish tradition, the moment is too critical for mere courtesy. It calls for consolation. During this brief visit you could bring comfort to someone in need, or you could act as just another spectator to tragedy. The mandate of our humanity and of our religion is that we bring sensitivity and empathy to those who mourn. ...

This is followed by suggestions that resonate in many contexts:

(see JohnsonCondolences = [1], DeepSympathies (30 May 2001), HennieSchneider (27 Dec 2003), ... )

TopicLife - TopicLiterature - TopicLibraries - 2004-01-07

(correlates: DavidCopperfieldInFashion, Comments on BitsOfConsciousness, HennieSchneider, ...)