This is seven days of passionate mourning during which time community members see to it that the mourner can focus on their grief.
Members of the synagogue and other supporters visit the mourner at his home during this period and provide meals so the immediate family does not have to provide for themselves.
The reality that we cannot take the pain from one who grieves is conveyed in this poem, along with the offer to comfort and hold the hand of the mourner.
In times of grief, poetry is therapeutic, helping the mourner to move through the stages of grief and loss.
Any one of these can pass on its sacred quality to other persons and objects (as a corpse defiles the mourner and his clothes), nay to actions, places and times as well (as a corpse will likewise cause work to be tabooed, ground to be set apart, a holy season to be observed).
Ethel was standing by the window, handkerchief in hand, looking like an Indian mourner at her husband's pyre.
They have told us how he never shot at a bird perching nor fished with a net, the creatures not having in such a case a fair chance for their lives; how he conducted himself in court and among villagers; how he ate his food, and lay in his bed, and sat in his carriage; how he rose up before the old man and the mourner; how he changed countenance when it thundered, and when he saw a grand display of viands at a feast.
In Turkish cemeteries the cypress "Dark tree, still sad when others' grief is fled, The only constant mourner o'er the dead" is the most striking feature, the rule being to plant one for each interment.
You behold me gentle, a peacemaker, pure of heart, a mourner, hungering, thirsting, bearing persecutions and hatreds for righteousness' sake, and do you doubt whether I accept the gospel..