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Mourning for a spouse


May a spouse observe mourning beyond shloshim. I feel that 30 days is not enough for my husband after 56 years of marriage.


Losing a spouse after 56 years of marriage is very painful and difficult. It will take you a while until you get over it and get used to life without your spouse. Never the less, the rules of mourning are meant not just as a way of expressing our sorrow, but also as a way of expressing our compassion for the deceased, in his difficulty in getting used to the new situation that his neshoma is in. Therefore we are not allowed to do the customs of mourning more than what halacha prescribes.

Together with getting used to, and recovering from the tremendous loss, we have to make sure to strengthen our emuna, and remain strong. H-shem, knows what he is doing, and knowing that the departed person’s neshoma is in a better place, should provide us with a degree of comfort. This is part of the reason that the gemorah says that we are not allowed to cry exceedingly over the deceased.  You need to stay strong, and your spouse also wants you to stay strong, as he surely doesn’t want you to fall apart because of it..

Instead of observing mourning customs, I would suggest that you do mitzvos that will merit the neshoma of your spouse.  You can do acts of kindness, say tehillim, donate money to torah institutions, in the merit of your spouse. This way you will feel that you are helping him, and that you are still connected to him.

May H-shem send you a full nechama, and may we all merit to see moshiach and techiyas hameisim.

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