June 12, 2024
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June 12, 2024
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Linking Northern and Central NJ, Bronx, Manhattan, Westchester and CT

I recently lost my father, and was so comforted by the whole shiva process. I’ve paid many shiva visits, but this is the first time I was sitting shiva myself. I had some insights I wanted to share:

Don’t be afraid to pay a shiva visit and not know what to say. Sitting shiva was exhausting for me because I felt like I was always “on”… Just your presence is enough, and it is much appreciated and does not go unnoticed!

Don’t stay too long;-)! I feel like I was in a loop of stories about my dad and it felt very uncomfortable if someone stayed too long and had possibly heard that story before, so I appreciated it when people got up after sitting with me just for a little.

It’s OK to cry; you don’t have to apologize because it just means you have feelings, too. It’s also OK to laugh with me as well! We are all human and it felt good that we could do that together.

Phone calls, texting, voice messages and actual old-school letters were all super heartwarming as well. I seriously lost my voice after talking for so long so sometimes a text message was perfect.

The week after shiva is a strange time. Such a life-altering event happened to me, but the world seemed exactly the same. Whenever I saw someone, I truly felt comforted by the quick words of acknowledgement “I’m sorry for your loss.”

I know my dad is smiling down on me and sending me little winks, feeling the love from all of those who have supported me and wished me well. At times I get sad and miss my dad, but soon after I remember those loving gestures of others and my heart feels fuller. Thank you for that! May we only share smachot together in the future.


Arielle Sheinbein has lived in Bergenfield with her family for almost 20 years. She is a chemistry teacher at RYNJ as well as an AFAA-certified group fitness instructor and personal trainer in her free time;). Her dad was a sweet, outgoing, friendly shul-goer who will be sorely missed but not forgotten!

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