...so this is how the past few weeks have been.
Erev Yom Kippur -- I went to a funeral for the husband of a woman I used to work with. The family was able to sit shiva for 1 hour.
Erev Sukkot -- my husband went to a funeral of a close friend of ours. The family was able to sit shiva for 1 hour.
Chol Hamoed Sukkot Sunday -- my husband and I went to a funeral for a shul member. The family was somewhat in limbo for several days. The shiva begins tonight, motzei Shabbos. This afternoon, a friend and I went to deliver a seudat shlishit meal for the family.
Tomorrow, Sunday -- my husband and I will go to a funeral for the mother of a shul member, who is also our friend. His family was at our home this past Thursday for lunch, but our friend wasn't; after shul he walked for over two hours to get to the hospital where his mother had been taken by ambulance just before Yom Tov began on Wednesday night. He came home late on Thursday night; his mother was in intensive care. Yesterday morning, he and his wife walked to the hospital to be with his mother. Last night his mother passed away.
Today when I went to the other family who is waiting for the official shiva to begin, our friend who'd just lost his mother last night was also there to visit. It would be his only time because tomorrow, shiva will start to be observed by his family.
To say it mildly, it has been one hell of a tough couple of weeks. Yes, we've started a New Year and the famous "Who shall live and who shall die" has been presented to us. Let us hope for a better year and a better new month, which will start toward week's end.