Thursday, October 11, 2012

Kaddish exhaustion

I'm exhausted, physically and emotionally. For 11 months, I've been getting up early each morning to go to shul. I've attended an 8:30 a.m. minyan on Sundays so at least on Saturday night I got to sleep till 7:30. But for 11 months I've been getting up on a consistent basis earlier than I ever have in my life. To get to shul and then to work on time, I've attended the 6:45 (Monday and Thursday)/6:55 minyan (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday), which meant I had to get up by 6:00 a.m. at the latest. Sometimes, if I had to be at work earlier, I was up at 5:15 to attend the 6:00 service. On Saturdays I've been getting up at 6:15 a.m. to attend the early 7:00 minyan. (I come home, take a snack and go back to sleep for an hour.)

For the last month, shul began even earlier than usual, first because of Slichot services which began a week before Rosh Hashana and lasted through Yom Kippur and then for the Sukkot holiday, when, due to the additional prayers, services began at 6:20 a.m., and therefore I had to be up by 5:30. Since I was committed to saying kaddish, I've had to make sure I got to shul in time as the first kaddish is recited a couple minutes after the prayer service begins.

And so there is a sleep deficit due to not enough sleep plus not sleeping that well at night. (I know depression negatively affects sleep and I wouldn't be surprised to learn that mourning for a parent also does.) In addition to the sleep deficit, there is an emotional toll to saying kaddish and dealing daily with the death of a loved one. It's like some kind of weight, a heaviness, that is wearing. Mourning demands energy. That's one of the reasons I have been taking mood regulating medication. (See and How much energy it's taken out of me I hope to find out when, after today, I stop saying kaddish. A good night's sleep would also help.

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