RELIGION
09/22/2014 10:43 am ET Updated Sep 22, 2014

How Sitting Shiva Can Help Mourners Feel 'More At Peace'

Mourning a loved one is hardly the most pleasant of activities, but for those participating in the Jewish ritual of sitting shiva, it can offer much-needed comfort -- and even be enjoyable.

Speaking about her grandmother's recent death, 25-year-old Sydnee Bursik recalled the "constant glow" of the shiva they held in her honor.

"[Shiva] was the most enjoyable part of the whole experience," she told HuffPost Live's Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani on Thursday, referring to the passing of her grandmother. "I got to see friends that I haven't seen in 20 years. I got to see family, so in that respect that was really a comforting thing."

"While these people were at my house, I felt okay. I felt more at peace that she wasn't sick anymore," Bursik remembered. "Everyone was telling me these amazing stories about her that I had never heard and we were just reveling in my grandma Laura."

While being around people helped ease the immediate pain of the loss, their departures often gave way to the less enjoyable, but still necessary, moments of reflection and grief.

"Once the people are gone, just like in those quiet small hours, that's when I find myself going through the biggest changes and having the difficult moments," Bursik said. "But the shiva is a really good cushion to get you back to normal life."

Watch the full HuffPost Live segment on sitting shiva here.

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