Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

Hard Mournings

YahrzeitThis is a prayer about the rhythm of mourning. Those first days – perhaps months or more – are often reminders of sorrow, emptiness and loneliness, especially in the quiet times. The closing line is a reference to Psalm 30:12: “You turned my mourning into dancing; You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness.” This piece appears in This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day from CCAR Press.

Hard Mournings
Mornings are the toughest,
That between time
When I’m not quite awake,
When my mind settles
Back to the familiarity and
The certainty of you.
Until I remember your passing.
Hard mornings,
Hard mournings,
Blend into evenings
Of solitude and sorrow.

Perhaps I’m wrong.
Evenings are the problem,
When the quiet crushes my breath
And the growing darkness
Shadows my heart
Until blessed sleep
Descends from heaven.

Mornings are the toughest
New beginnings,
Each day an echo of loss.
Evenings are the roughest reminders
Of your absence.
Each night a hollow silence,
Emptiness in the space you once held.

One day
I will breathe again.
The Soul of the Universe
Will turn my sorrow into dancing.
I will remove this sackcloth
And live again.

© 2017 CCAR Press from This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day

Postscript: Here’s an annotated list of my yizkor, memorial and mourning prayers.

Please check out my ELItalk video, “Falling in Love with Prayer,” and This Grateful Heart: Psalms and Prayers for a New Day. For reprint permissions and usage guidelines and reprint permissions, see “Share the Prayer!” To receive my latest prayers via email, please subscribe (on the home page). You can also connect on Facebook and Twitter.

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