original painting by Cynthia Angeles http://paintingsbycynthia.com

The Jewish people have a custom known as Sitting Shiva. It’s when someone dies and you stay indoors even after they are buried. You mourn the deceased. You talk of their memories. Your neighbors and family bring you food and tell you they are sorry. And they sit Shiva with you for a while. Then they go, and someone else comes.

At the end of sitting Shiva, you have mourned the person all you possibly could. Plus you have cabin fever. And cannot wait to leave the house and resume life.


I feel like that’s what I’m doing. Sitting Shiva for an ended relationship. Mourning the death of a dream. Of hopes and aspirations. Which just like with death, is through no fault of mine. Going through the stages of grief. Shock. Denial. Anger. Negotiation. Acceptance.

My friends sit Shiva with me although it’s not their loss. While I have some wonderful memories, that now seem foolish as they could ALL have been based on lies, my friends now feel free to say just how much they hated the guy. How they mistrusted him from the start, but kept mum to keep peace. How better now than later. And how I’m obviously better off without that prick. (Their words, not mine.)

They also have funny stories that make me laugh through my tears.

But all through, I sit in pain. Unbelievable, heart wrenching pain. It never seems to go away. Even when I get reprieve it hovers, waiting to come back and occupy my heart.


Unlike mourning for the dead which has a proscribed number of days, I don’t know when I will be finished Sitting Shiva. But deep down, waaay deep I might add, I know I will. And I can’t wait for that moment, where I will be so weary of mourning, I will get up without a word to anyone. Jump into the shower. Make myself all pretty again. And go out to resume life.

Wounded, scarred, yet unbowed.

I hope it will be soon.

Mugs Gitau

Tue, 6th August 2013