My friend’s mother passed away in Mashad. I asked him whether there will be a memorial for her here. I offered to hold a ceremony for his mother at my house, if he likes. He said no. He and his brother want to mourn their mother’s passing in private and in their own way. I respect that. I do, however, believe that it is really important that people do mourn their loved ones in a way which will facilitate and help acceptance of their death. Ceremonies and gatherings around a death are helpful for continuation of life and dealing with the loss. Anyhow, I’m sad for my friend. Loss of a parent is a uniquely difficult occasion, as our parents tend to be our two-member fan club in life, and the only ones in the world who are capable of loving us unconditionally. Their passing leaves a void in each of us, beyond repair.

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