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Grief Support and a Poignant Memory

The Jewish Pavilion Fall grief support program is six weeks and is taking place on Mondays at 10:30 a.m. beginning October 24 at Village on the Green in Longwood.

This free grief support group, offered by the Jewish Pavilion, is being run by Judy Kahan who is a social worker. The program helps participants deal with their grief through a Jewish Lens. Members must commit to attending all the sessions.

Special thanks to the Glassman- Guzman Family Foundation for their support of the program.

Jane Edelstein, Chair of the Friends of the Jewish Pavilion, participated in the grief support program after the death of her beloved mother, Fanny Edelstein. At a recent Friends meeting she shared this story about a way to memorialize a love one.

"Sara Lelchuk -- my daughter -- got married this past July in Manchester, Vermont, to her long-time boyfriend Griffin Isabel. She did all wedding planning, of both the ceremony and reception, on her own.

"I knew little about the wedding ceremony but I did ask her whether my mom would be mentioned. (Sara had a very close relationship with my mother, who passed away in 2014).

"During the ceremony, I remember hearing a recitation of family members of both the bride and groom who had passed away. I felt it odd that I didn't hear my mom's name.

"And then I hear the officiant say, 'Sara wanted to especially remember her Grandmother, Fanny Edelstein, who has a seat reserved for her at the end of this front row.'

"I looked at the end of the row where I was sitting, and there was a chair with a sign, 'Reserved for Fanny Edelstein.' The chair was adorned with a bouquet of flowers and a photo of Sara with Fanny, and had one of Fanny's sweaters wrapped around it.

"I then noticed Sara leaving the pulpit, going to the chair and kneeling down in front of it for a few seconds of silence. I like to think Sara was clearly sharing her happiness with Fanny.

In a wedding ceremony that was filled with beautiful moments, that was for me perhaps the most beautiful of all. One way to deal with grief is to celebrate the love embodied by the departed, and that is certainly what Sara chose to do in this case."

For more information or to sign up call the Jewish Pavilion office at 407-678-9363 or email Generally, we recommend waiting six months after a loss to sign up for a grief support group, because the grief is so raw at the beginning.

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