Good Grief

image of grief

There nothing as whole as a broken heart.

Depression is not a sin. But what depression does, no sin can do.

Chassidic sayings

Chassidic teaching differentiates between two types of sorrow: merirus, a constructive grief, and atzvus, a destructive grief.
Is sad bad? Chassidic teaching differentiates between two types of sorrow: merirus, a constructive grief, and atzvus, a destructive grief.The first is the distress of one who not only recognizes his failings but also cares about them. One who agonizes over the wrongs he has committed, over his missed opportunities, over his unrealized potential. One who refuses to become indifferent to what is deficient in himself and his world. The second is the distress of one who has despaired of himself and his fellow man, whose melancholy has drained him of hope and initiative.

The first is a springboard for self-improvement; the second a bottomless pit.

How does one distinguish between the two? The first is active, the second—passive.

The first one weeps, the second’s eyes are dry and blank. The first one’s mind and heart are in turmoil, the second’s are still with apathy and heavy as lead. And what happens when it passes, when they emerge from their respective bouts of grief? The first one springs to action: resolving, planning, taking his first faltering steps to undo the causes of his sorrow. The second one goes to sleep.



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13 years ago

And what happens when it passes, when they emerge from their respective bouts of grief?

Dear most respected Rabbi Jacobson,

First, I want to connect this article and the one in Love&marriage dealing with finding your soulmate.

In my opinion, grief connected to love is especially hard. This also because love is inside, while the normal life including work, family, etc. is outside. I know that of course also family comprises love, that is given and taken, but love, or the felt true love is inside.
What happens now, if you share this love that you have inside with a person on all levels. Especially when this sharing comprises all levels: emotional, intelectual, physical – even if accepting the physical part lovingly;) – leading to transcendental love.
What if such a love should not be? What if such a love, that seems to be the searched-for bascherte, can not be, cause it goes against the mizwah of not destroying another functional, maybe even physical, emotional and intellectual relationship?

What to do if
1st the grief is so unfocused, cause it is there both as deep-love-loss-grief as much as a not allowed grief?
What if it is combined with unhappiness at work and the realization that I really do NOT use my potential?

Second, connected to the end of this article the second one goes to sleep: what if every time one tries to reach up, one doesnt know what to do first? What is, if one cant find passion, love, happiness and maybe especially no drive to search for someone to not only not be so lonely, but for someone that makes you whole. For someone where together you can reach out for higher potential and support each other.

What is, if lofe just gets to much with all its gd-given potential. With all its choices and decisions that need to be made.
Questions that start from Whom do I love – with him can I reach my transcendental relationship? and end with Am I am fulfilled in this job? Which job would be the one were I can use my potential? etc.

Really, being currently first time also in a state of deep grief, while normally a very energetic, enthusiastic, project-&futureoriented woman, I have so much more mutual empathy and compassion for the distress this life can suddenly capture you in; this normally so wonderful life with our daily challenge between the conflicting elements of the soul can suddely be a big pile of angst lying on the top of your head where every move can make you panicing that this pile with fall on you and you crash.

So, WHEN will it pass, WHEN is the time the RESPECTIVE bouts of grief are over, WHEN and HOW is the time to emerge from grief?

Your longtime fan, in a time of distress
Kol tuv,

The Meaningful Life Center