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Shiva is the seven day intense mourning period in Judaism after a loved one has died and is buried. Once the family returns home from the funeral, the intense grieving process begins. You tear your clothing and sit on low boxes or crates to be closer to the loved one. Leather shoes are removed and mirrors are covered. The door is left ajar so people can come in, sit shiva, and bring food. You don’t disturb the mourner, you wait for them to acknowledge you. You don’t shave or even change your clothes. You sit with the pain and grief, but you’re surrounded by your community. No one likes shiva, but there’s something beautiful about giving in to the sadness, because you’re expected to be devastated. Once the seven days are complete, you’re ready to return to the world with the help of those you love and who love you too.

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