RH is MIL’s first Yahrzeit…how should we adjust traditional celebration?

Home Forums Yom Tov Rosh Hashanah RH is MIL’s first Yahrzeit…how should we adjust traditional celebration?

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • Author
  • #1576574


    Every year, Mrs. CTL and I host the asst family members for Rosh HaShanah. The house is full and the kitchens are in full gear. Assorted relatives use this time not only as the start of the Yomin Noraim, but a chance to catch up with each other on the happenings since we gather at Pesach.
    Normally, with RH starting on Sunday night, we’d have a houseful for Shabbos, a big family breakfast on Sunday morning, and get ready for RH.
    Last year, Mrs. CTL’s mother was niftara in our home while the children and grandchildren were on the middle of the first night seudah. This year as the women light yuntif candles, a yahrzeit candle will also be lit. Mrs. CTL will not be in a joyful mood.

    So, do we not have the entire family this year?
    Do we ask one of our children to host and go there for the seudah (three are in easy walking distance)?

    This is the first case of a yuntif yarhzeit Mrs. CTL or I have ever had to deal with.

    Appreciate stories of how you deal with yuntif yahrzeit in your family, especially the first year.



    CTL: Before we reply, did you ask Mrs. CTL what she prefers?

    Personally, I do not recall what we did for my grandmother’s first yahrtzeit on the second day of sukkos 40 years ago.


    🍫Syag Lchochma

    I know that for myself the last thing i wanted was to feel even more lonely than the empty place setting was already making me.


    from Long Island

    Years ago my Mom was niftar erev Pesach. That year Pesach passed in a blur what with being an Onen at the Sedurim and kevurah in Israel during Chol Ha’Moed.

    I was afraid that every year the Pesach sedurim would be sad for everyone, so I asked my kids/family to prepare/remember their favorite story/experience with my Mom. Sharing those stories, during the Seder brought my Mom “back to the table” and really made Pesach a wonderful chag again.

    Ask your wife what she prefers. The first Chagim are always the hardest.


    Avi K

    In any case, RH is not such a day for celebration as it is yom hadin.



    Whilst not directly answering, Pesach Krohn’s advice about Pesach was that it’s absolutely normal to cry at the Seder. Which was good advice, seeing as that’s what happened. So feeling sad is just normal. Don’t expect not to be.



    Yes, I have asked Mrs. CTL what she wants, and to be blunt, she would prefer that the yuntif would be over with already. She has no enthuasim for the preparation and tumult of all the family together. Yet, I feel she will miss it, if after all these years we downplay the holidays.

    and as for Avi K, you may have read I posted about the Shabbos and Sunday morning before RH when the family would all be here as well.

    Last year was horrendous, as MIL was niftara during the seuda in our home and nothing could be done until Tzom Gedalia. Mrs. CTL is also concerned the youngest grandchildren might have trepidation sitting down to the yuntif meal and wondering if another tragedy will occur.



    CTL: If I remember correctly you have had family “celebrations” this past year (bris of a grandson) so a family get together may not necessarily trigger bad memories in the minds of the younger grandchildren. I am not a psychologist so I am not talking with any specialized training.

    I can understand Mrs. CTL’s feelings as my father’s petirah was two weeks before chanukah and I was far from being in a celebratory mood.

    Since your wife has already expressed certain feelings, maybe it would be a good idea to move the seudos to one of your children, but have them ask your wife to come help with preparations. My .02

    Either way your family should have a nechomah from the petirah of Mrs. CTL’s mother and may she be a “MELITZAH YESHARAH” for your entire mishpacha.


    Avi K

    CTL, as a matter of fact, some people have a custom to fast on erev RH until Chatzot. As for the youngest grandchildren how old are they? They might not even remember. My father’s mother died when I was one year old and I have no recollection of her or even a recollection of a childhood recollection.



    Avi K: While you are correct it a the yom hadin, there is still an aspect of yom tov to it as stated in Nechemiah 8:10-12 –

    10 – יוַיֹּ֣אמֶר לָהֶ֡ם לְכוּ֩ אִכְל֨וּ מַשְׁמַנִּ֜ים וּשְׁת֣וּ מַמְתַּקִּ֗ים וְשִׁלְח֚וּ מָנוֹת֙ לְאֵ֣ין נָכ֣וֹן ל֔וֹ כִּֽי־קָד֥וֹשׁ הַיּ֖וֹם לַֽאֲדֹנֵ֑ינוּ וְאַל־תֵּ֣עָצֵ֔בוּ כִּֽי־חֶדְוַ֥ת יְהֹוָ֖ה הִ֥יא מָֽעֻזְּכֶֽם:
    11: יאוְהַֽלְוִיִּ֞ם מַחְשִׁ֚ים לְכָל־הָעָם֙ לֵאמֹ֣ר הַ֔סּוּ כִּֽי־הַיּ֖וֹם קָדֹ֑שׁ וְאַל־תֵּֽעָצֵֽבוּ:
    12: יבוַיֵּֽלְכ֨וּ כָל־הָעָ֜ם לֶֽאֱכֹ֚ל וְלִשְׁתּוֹת֙ וּלְשַׁלַּ֣ח מָנ֔וֹת וְלַֽעֲשׂ֖וֹת שִׂמְחָ֣ה גְדוֹלָ֑ה כִּ֚י הֵבִ֙ינוּ֙ בַּדְּבָרִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר הוֹדִ֖יעוּ לָהֶֽם:

    10: And he said to them, “Go, eat fat foods and drink sweet drinks and send portions to whoever has nothing prepared, for the day is holy to our Lord, and do not be sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
    11: And the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Hush, for the day is holy, and do not be sad.”
    12: Then all the people went to eat and to drink and to send portions and to rejoice greatly, for they understood the words that they informed them of.



    There were grandchildren at the seudah table last year at the time of death who are now aged 4-22.
    Literally, one of the nurses came to the table from my MIL’s bedroom and asked Mrs. CTL and myself and our adult daughters to hurry in to say goodbye. She was niftara within 3 minutes of leaving the table. The grandchildren were certainly aware of what happened. The youngest were bundled off to the house next door with my DIL’s in charge. The older granchildren remained in the house and attended the mais or said tehillim. Motzei yuntif the mais was removed for tahara and burial the next morning.

    At Pesach, a couple of the 5-8 yer olds asked who was going to die this yuntif and end the meal early. One even asked if we could move the afikomen ransom up to the beginning of the seder. None of the kids have gone into what was bubbe’s suite since. We’ve completely redecorated and turned it into an office. No one would feel comfortable sleeping there.

    One of my great grandfathers died when I was two. I don’t have many memories of him, but he didn’t die in the house when I was there. I was in CT and he died in a Brooklyn hospital at age 103.


    Avram in MD


    I’m so sorry to hear about your family’s loss.

    “Yes, I have asked Mrs. CTL what she wants, and to be blunt, she would prefer that the yuntif would be over with already. She has no enthuasim for the preparation and tumult of all the family together. Yet, I feel she will miss it, if after all these years we downplay the holidays.”

    It sounds like you don’t have clarity on what she really wants to do for Rosh Hashana – possibly because she herself doesn’t know. Personally, I wouldn’t move forward with any plans that involve my wife having to deal with any preparation and tumult based solely on a feeling. I would make every effort to relieve that burden unless she explicitly says she wants to make the yom tov, even with assurances that nobody will be disappointed if she doesn’t host. If you have children able and willing to make the yom tov and you can join them, I’d jump on that. If she ultimately misses it, there is Sukkos soon after, and please G-d next year.



    CTL: Has a decision been made yet?



    Mrs. CTL and our daughters and daughters in law reached a decision last night.
    Sunday morning after shul we’ll hold an unveiling for MIL, then a simple dairy lunch in our yard.
    The seudos will be at our home. The girls will do the cooking and serving.
    ONLY children, spouses and grandchildren will be here, no nieces, nephews, cousins, machatunim, etc. will be here.
    No guests will sleep here.
    My eldest sister will host my side of the family for the evening seudos, but all will gather at the compound after shul for Tashlich and lunch.
    We’ll try to keep everything low key. We’ll all go to shul for davening instead of family services in our home. I have let the Rav and gabbai know that we’ll be using our family seats this year and that they are not available for use by guests or other shul members.

    This is the current plan, BUT as they say: Man plans and G-d laughs
    it may all change………….

Viewing 14 posts - 1 through 14 (of 14 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.