This past Thursday, Rabbi Wolpe and Rabbi Steve Leder (Wilshire Boulevard Temple) had an incredible, deep conversation about love, loss, and vulnerability as they promote Rabbi Leder’s latest book, the Beauty of What Remains. In particular, loss and grief are being dealt with more differently during the pandemic. Below are some key takeaways from the program.
• Pain and grief are strong feelings and come in ebbs and flows. They even affect each of us differently. Yet, when you strip away what’s left behind of a loved one’s essence and memory, what you end up seeing is very beautiful.
• No matter how many times we say, “I love you” or hold someone, it’s never enough.
• During the pandemic, people have often requested the larger funerals they’re often accustomed to and feel guilty that there wasn’t a crowd of 300 at their loved one’s funeral. But as Rabbi Leder said, the mourners are ultimately spared the theater of coordinating and performing funeral. Only the innermost circle of someone’s life is present. It’s an intimate and beautiful way to say goodbye to a person’s earthly existence.
• A busy life and a meaningful life are not the same. The pandemic has awakened us to that fact.
• There’s usually no right way to grieve. There’s often the need to talk about memories and stories of a loved one who has passed. The people that don’t mind, matter. The people that mind, they don’t matter.
• People often ask what they should do if they’re visiting a friend who is in mourning. Rabbi Leder put it simply: Just show up for someone during a loss.
Check out the full conversation here: The Beauty of What Remains