Laura Jacobs words hung heavy in the air as everyone in the circle nodded with an understanding that can only come with shared experience: “It’s a whole new loss. I feel like I just started mourning. I’m not done yet.” Last night was an emotional one, as Amicahi, Laura, Jeffrey Hurant, and Rebecca Odes completed the traditional eleven months of saying Kaddish after a loved one’s death. On the heels of the loss of Amichai’s dear father we began an experiment in creating community, support, and space for mourning within Lab/Shul, a circle of care called Kaddish Club. Now, eleven months later, Laura’s words point us to a reality of grief and mourning: that it never ends, that there is wisdom in the cycles of our tradition but that they can feel arbitrary at times, that letting go can be just as painful as holding on.
Just as we don’t let go of our grief but rather allow it to evolve over time, we will allow Kaddish club to continue to evolve with our communal needs. This was not Amichai’s “last” Kaddish club, only his last, for now, as an active mourner and leader. If you’d like to be involved in shaping the future of this sacred and important group, please sign up to the Google Group.
Kaddish Club is for anyone on the long road of grief, no matter what stage you may be in – 1 week, 30 days, 11 months, 11 years, or beyond. We all have experiences both practical and emotional that can be vitally important to others in their process. If you are someone you know could benefit from the support of others, please stay in touch via the Google Group. If you’d like to read the texts we studied last night click here: Kaddish Club 11th Month and if you’d like a printable version of Lab/Shul’s text and translation of Kaddish click here: Mourner’s Kaddish for Kaddish Club
Thank you Jeffrey so much for hosting us. And thank you Laura for your beautiful tree of life with words of love and blessing from the Kaddish Club for Amichai, marking this important transition. May it continue to grow, evolve, and thrive.