I do not remember all the Laws and Rituals of Mourning according to Jewish Law. Not surprising. I’m no longer religious and more of a D.I.Y. type but *I think* for a grandparent one mourns a shorter amount of time than for a parent or a spouse, for example. I could look it up. All this stuff has been written down, codified throughout the years…
I may buy more Yartzeit candles though. The way the flame cast shadows through the glass – oh it comforted me, those shadows. I woke up as usual fairly often from my sleep but… the shadows were good company (and you know you’re in the presence of a 12th House girl — my Venus is there — when she talks about being friendly with shadows).
I was becoming religious around the time my mother died and I had a friend who had gone very deep into that life and sent me some books in the mail — books listing all the laws and rituals and I remember doing things as by the book as I could back then and these laws and rituals are designed to bring comfort actually. To give structure, Saturn, to the mourners, which is what the mourners need. Some sense of structure, limitation, Authority… because death has just split open their world. They, we, need something to hold onto.
That’s what death does: creates this awful hole. This break in whatever was your life. Everything changes after. There was my life when I had a mother. And then my life when I didn’t.
And this is why religion works (before it becomes fanatical, that is). It gives boundaries to life, attempts to explain pain and suffering. Without rules we’re too free in that there’s nothing to push against. It’s like a ring on a finger… symbolic but as though it is holding your bones in place but really it’s holding your heart but again another metaphor. Metaphors are also structure.
My grandfather, the Aries, was a man, not a metaphor, but he was so sick. He’d been sick for years. And I am cynical. That’s what being a health nut will give you: you’ll still get sick but you’ll hang on for years because your structure (Saturn again) is in tip-top shape. That’s what you get for buying the whole wheat fig newtons, instead of the white flour ones. That’s what I said to my Uncle when he called, when my Uncle was telling me it “really was a blessing,” and I agreed. That’s how he outlived them all.
To be continued…
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