Home

For those that have sat Shivah
1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum -> Relationships -> Manners & Etiquette


View latest: 24h 48h 72h


amother




OP
 

Post Mon, May 03 2021, 10:30 pm
I honestly did not know which section to place this in...
but here goes
I have to go be menachem avel someone I am acquainted with that has lost a family member in meron...
from those of you who sat shivah, can you please help me understand what it is that people appreciate and dont appreciate being told during shivah?
I am never sure if I am saying the right thing, and would like to gain a little more insight as to what people need or want to hear or not hear...
thanks
Back to top

amother




Burgundy
 

Post Mon, May 03 2021, 10:32 pm
I don't need any talking. Just having a human being next to me is sufficient. Silence is golden. Don't underestimate the power of your simple presence.
Back to top

wife n mom




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 03 2021, 10:32 pm
Just let them talk... I found that talking made me feel better but lets definitely hear what others have to say!
Back to top

healthymom1




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 03 2021, 10:34 pm
You let them guide the talking if they want they’ll talk. If not they won’t.
Back to top

tweety1




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 03 2021, 10:35 pm
Don't ask personal questions. Don't be there for too long if it's not somebody very personal to you. If there's a specific piece of help that you can offer, offer it. Don't offer help if you can't be specific.
Back to top

amother




OP
 

Post Mon, May 03 2021, 10:36 pm
tweety1 wrote:
Don't ask personal questions. Don't be there for too long if it's not somebody very personal to you. If there's a specific piece of help that you can offer, offer it. Don't offer help if you can't be specific.


I would love to offer help. what could be a specific type of help that I can offer
Back to top

amother




Bronze
 

Post Mon, May 03 2021, 10:38 pm
I just saw an amazing detailed post about what to say and what not to at the shiva.
I’m trying to get permission to post it here.
As someone who has sat shiva I honestly think it should be given out in general to everyone and be posted in all magazines in regards to all shiva visits. It is spot on.

One thing I will say that it said clearly. Avoid any talk of the tragedy itself. No questions about what happened. no discussion of who what why and when. The day itself is off topic.
It said it much better obviously

Do share stories about the niftar. Memories. And listen Dont be afraid of silence. and dont stay long.
ETA here are some additional summarized bullet points
Show up- it’s appreciated
Refrain from platitudes
Avoid intrusive questions
Let the mourners guide the conversation
Back to top

amother




Navy
 

Post Mon, May 03 2021, 10:43 pm
Re. Specific help:

Usually a family sitting shiva has a very close friend who serves as a gatekeeper (kicks ppl out when hours are over), and makes sure the aveilim eat and drink.

Speak to that close friend to offer help during shiva. After shiva, speak to the aveilim.

Read the book
"If there's anything I can do"
Back to top

groovy1224




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 03 2021, 10:48 pm
Honestly, it will probably be quite crowded. Shivahs for someone who passed away tragically are often pretty packed. So you may not have much one on one time with the person you are visiting. You can hang back for a bit and listen to what others are saying to get a sense for what you should say. Generally just listen, offer a kind word or story about the niftar, and it will flow from there.

As for things not to say, they are mostly obvious with some common sense. Don't ask questions or comment on how he died, don't say it was for the best, don't say they'll get over it. Don't try and compare it to a cousin who lost a brother or a friend, just sit and listen and offer your sympathies.
Back to top

Zehava




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 03 2021, 10:52 pm
amother [ OP ] wrote:
I would love to offer help. what could be a specific type of help that I can offer

Take care of their little kids if they have
Back to top

amother




Aqua
 

Post Mon, May 03 2021, 10:57 pm
If you have something nice to say about the nifter, share it. Otherwise, the less you talk the better. Its enough to show up, sit a few minutes and say the pusik. Don't sit long. And don't be afraid to leave because no one else is there. The uvel doesn't need you to babysit her.

Offering help - you can send cake or kugel if you dontvwant to discuss with anyone. More gleeful is to ask who's taking care of meals and see what is needed. Even more help is to offer to help with the kids.

Also, don't go early morning like before 10 or late at night, after 10
Back to top

amother




Slategray
 

Post Mon, May 03 2021, 10:59 pm
For me I just found that ppl overstayed and it was EXHAUSTING. I felt that by a simcha the closer you are the longer u stay but at a Shiva I didn't feel like it was necessary. My brother died tragically and young and like another poster commented it was a packed Shiva.. My mother in law stayed for forever (at least it felt like forever) and it was uncomfortable and tiring to make conversation. Everyone is different but that was my experience.
Back to top

southernbubby




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 03 2021, 11:00 pm
There was a very nice woman who worked at the preschool where I used to drop off my granddaughter and I was really shocked when she passed away. I didn't know the family at all but I felt that I had to share with them all of the wonderful things that I admired about their mother and they really seemed to appreciate it. Basically, people do want to hear good memories of those who passed away.
Then there was the time that I walked into a shivah house and the mourners took one look at me and burst out laughing....so many funny stories to share about the person who passed away.
Back to top

southernbubby




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 03 2021, 11:05 pm
I have one friend who has some disabilities and somehow she understood that she must sit on the unsteady chair provided by the funeral home. While I was there, she fell while trying to stand up and I had to convince her to sit on the couch without the cushion. She was so certain that she had to use that flimsy chair but I really put my foot down because it was so unsafe for her and she was alone for most of the day.
Back to top

amother




Aubergine
 

Post Mon, May 03 2021, 11:08 pm
I am quiet, so I did appreciate those who did the talking as it helped relieve any awkwardness and felt more comforting that way. I guess everyone is different, but best to take cues from the avel. If you yourself are quiet, it’s perfectly fine to keep talking to a minimum.

I also didn’t get so many visitors as it’s a small family and my mother was older. But I’m sure the Meron avelim will be a lot busier, so it’s a different dynamic than I experienced. In my case it made sense for visitors to do more talking, but that probably won’t be the case in a busy avel house.
Back to top

southernbubby




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, May 03 2021, 11:08 pm
Groups of people can sponsor trays and platters for the mourners and men learn in memory of the nifter.
I was once asked to cover the mirrors and make sure that the meal was ready after the burial.
Back to top

PinkFridge




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 04 2021, 9:29 am
I second sharing nice memories. The aveilim are talked out and don't need being asked to rehash the last few weeks. Unless they bring it up, in which case, let them talk. That's really it. Let them talk. Which is hard, you'll probably get a nod and a brief line from an aveil as your cue to start talking (you're supposed to wait till an aveil acknowledges you) so you will have to say something. That's when it can be something like your memory, or asking where the niftar was from, etc.
Back to top

keym




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 04 2021, 9:39 am
Re help. The best help we got was the 2 weeks after we got up
During shiva, we were surrounded by people who helped. But after we got up, we were on our own.
The close friends who brought meals, cakes, kugels, drove carpool, helped with little kids, etc the next few weeks were really appreciated.
If you have that kind of close relationship to offer a meal or watching little kids next week when the cameras and crowds are gone, and the family is figuring out finances and how to put one foot in front of the other and survive without the family member.
Back to top

keym




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 04 2021, 9:40 am
I also really appreciated when people wrote or emailed stories or memories.
Shiva is an exhausting blur, and I don't remember much, but it's nice to be able to read other people's stories and memories in my own space.
Back to top

FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post Tue, May 04 2021, 9:50 am
Yes to all the above.

Find out who is the point person to coordinate everything. If the shiva house is crowded, you can leave a note with your name and phone number, and what you are capable of doing to help. If it's meals after 2 weeks, or taking care of little ones, that's great. If the niftar had a favorite charity, you can make a donation in their name, and leave a note saying such.

Something that people often forget, is the older kids. They are just as in need of help as the toddlers are. If you can take elementary kids to the park for the afternoon, or teens out for pizza, it will give them the emotional break they need to get through this.

Only discuss the shiva if they bring it up first - the point is to allow them time to process things, and sometimes a distraction is the best medicine.

Whatever you do, do NOT say anything about how "sad and tragic" the situation is. The mourners know that already. Focus all of your energy on happy memories, and if can't think of any at the moment, just sit and listen quietly.
Back to top
1, 2  Next Recent Topics

Page 1 of 2 View latest: 24h 48h 72h


Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum -> Relationships -> Manners & Etiquette

Related Topics Replies Last Post
Is it a thing to take the SAT in Israel?
by amother
8 Thu, Mar 04 2021, 3:32 pm View last post
EW! Nasty! I just sat on......
by amother
11 Wed, Dec 23 2020, 3:25 am View last post
March SAT practice groups??
by amother
0 Tue, Feb 04 2020, 1:47 am View last post
SAT for college 2 Sat, Jan 18 2020, 9:12 pm View last post
S/O how often did you shower when you sat shiva?
by salt
19 Tue, Aug 06 2019, 1:02 pm View last post