The 12th is my deceased father’s birthday, 12th of September. The attributes for the 12th day of the OmerFrom the second day of Passover until Shavuot, Jews count seven weeks – seven times seven days – to commemorate the period between the Exodus from Egypt and the Revelation at Sinai. When the Temple stood, a certain measure (omer) of barley was offered on the altar each day; today, we merely count out the days. are Hod of Gevurah, glory in strength. How can this combination be looked upon, meditated upon, through the lens of grief or other difficult times (such as depression, diagnosis of illness, and other forms of loss)? In moments of our deepest grief small accomplishments must be acknowledged with great appreciation. At times following my father’s passing I have laid in bed and thought to myself: well done, you went to the grocery story today; you went to class today and you made it another day: this is one way I find personal glory in the struggle to remain strong as I grieve. The accomplishment is that I was able to function for a day. An affirmation for one experiencing grief or other difficulties and counting the 12th day of the Omer is to affirm and acknowledge the personal strength of living day by day.
Some questions I ask as part of this process:
– How are the attributes of glory and strength connected through my experience of grief (depression, diagnosis, loss, etc.)?
– Does the relationship or can the relationship of these attributes change when applied to the grief (depression, diagnosis, loss, etc.) process?
– Have I experienced a demonstration of the joining of these attributes in a person or interaction surrounding my father’s death (specific experience)?
– Can the combination of these attributes help me accept the pain of my grief or give me strength in this difficult time?
For a general reflection on grieving through the Omer, see the author’s blog post on the topic.