August 31, 2011 4:31 pm at 4:31 pm #599040Climbing mountainsMember
I had to be menachem avel a family this week and when I was there I kept getting emotional. This display of emotion either could have made them feel like I was really feeling with them (in the small way that I can) or maybe caused them additional pain because when you see someone else crying, it makes you cry. What do you think? I really didn’t mean to cause any additional pain!August 31, 2011 4:45 pm at 4:45 pm #804124TomcheMember
You showed that you really felt with them. It was perfectly normal, acceptable, and it in fact is a good thing. It is like crying at a levaya.August 31, 2011 5:58 pm at 5:58 pm #804126HaLeiViParticipant
You felt with them and nothing can make a person’s suffering lighter as having others truly feeling along. Even if you caused them to cry at the time you only made them feel better. They will remember it always and will be deeply thankful.August 31, 2011 6:01 pm at 6:01 pm #804127aries2756Participant
CM, when someone comes to the home of shiva and feels their loss, or feels that they themselves have suffered a loss through this petira, it only shows the aveilim “mi kamcha yisroel”, that they are not alone and not forgotten. They don’t need people to cheer them up, they need people to understand their loss.August 31, 2011 6:18 pm at 6:18 pm #804128mommamia22Participant
I recently had to pay a shiva call to a friend of the family. I, too, was a little bit emotional, whereas, the family were quite calm and warm to those who came. I sat only very briefly with them and saw the conversation move to others shortly thereafter. I had the same concern as you, and my mother, who went with me, told me they were very private about their mourning and therefore, did not want to become emotional in front of everyone. What I learned from this is that it’s good to mirror the emotional state of the aveilim while expressing sincere condolences. That being said, it works only some of the time (to hold back). So, don’t beat yourself up for your reaction. Your being there with them and grieving with them heals them, even if it’s not said.August 31, 2011 6:27 pm at 6:27 pm #804129aries2756Participant
There is a very famous story about a Rav who went to be menachem avail and just sat with the family and cried. He said nothing just sat and cried when he left others asked him what happened why he didn’t console the family. He said “what more could I say. I cried with them to share their pain and ease some of the pain off their shoulders”.September 1, 2011 12:59 am at 12:59 am #804130cinderellaMember
i can’t go to a shiva house for this reason. the second i see one of the aveilim i just start crying and then i feel guilty cuz like what right do i have to cry? its prob irrational but what can i do??
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