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Honoring My Husband's Jewish Tradition


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I feel guility but I cannot stand the thought of planning my husband's Jewish tradition of a grave dedication. I loved my husband and although he was Jewish, he did not practice at all. His family does, but he does not.

I received a call from my brother-in-law who is a Rabbi. He and his wife are amazing. They live out of state. He and his other brother (that lives here) want to plan a dedication weekend (to honor my husband) in July of next year. As soon as the request was made, I had a complete meltdown and said that I could not plan to do that next year. I explained how I had given up my life to take care of my husband when he was ill and how I have been dealing with the fallout ever since he passed. I did not say anything rude at all, I just said that I cannot take anymore committments and that I have to reboot my life in 2015. I feel like a jerk. Please note that my stepchildren hate me. My husband's brother wants me to plan everything with him and simply invite the children (they are middle aged by the way).

I do not even know that I will be living in Chicago at that time. I do not keep in touch with my husband's friends, so I do not understand how planning a party to honor him seven months from now makes sense. I stated that I wanted to just do my own private dedication and let everyone else do what they wanted.

I am so emotionally fragile. I get overwhelmed going to the grocery store. Am I being a jerk? I have to seek employment, likely put our house on the market, move and try to get well. If the dedication was next month, I could possibly pull it off but next July? How can I get a job, move, make a fresh start, break my ties in Chicago and plan a party with people I do not talk to in July of next year?

Am I being unreasonable? thank you!!

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Hi Audra,

You do what is in your heart and let that be enough. If others want to plan a party let them. You already have many things to do that will require all your strength.

You are not being "a jerk" or being "unreasonable" you are looking out for number one and that is what you should do. You are strong and resilient and you will move forward on this grief journey. I know that. Remember, Audra, it is what is in your heart that counts and not what someone wants of you.


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Thank you to both of you! It is what is in my heart and not what someone wants of me....I like that and I am going to post that to my refrigerator!

I let my brother-in-laws know that I am going to do my own personal dedication as soon as the headstone is ready. 2015 needs to be the year I get a job/career that I like and a new life over time. Harvey will always be my soul mate and he will always have my heart. I need to find that new normal though so I can stand alone, survive slowly and hopefully thrive in time.

Thank you!!


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  • 3 weeks later...

I just saw this post, I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner. I'm glad you've already received two great responses. I just want to add my 2 cents that you need to take care of YOU and what YOU need and let the rest of the world do what they see fit. Let no one put anything on you that you do not feel you want to do and can handle. You more than have your plate full! You've made the first step already, and I hope you find the perfect job for you!

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