Mourning and Grieving

Forever in our hearts

In our tradition, we say of loved ones who have died, “May their memory be a blessing” and mark this ongoing process of turning memory into blessing by lighting a yahrzeit candle and reciting the Mourner’s Kaddish on the anniversary of their death. 

We will send you a reminder card two weeks before the anniversary of your loved one’s passing and hope that you will consider attending Shabbat services to honor their memory. 

A yahrzeit candle is available for you to pick up at the Beth Chaim office at no charge for your observance.

Thank you to Judith Markowitz and Glen Schabacker for underwriting the Yahrzeit program.
Thank you to Judith Markowitz and Glen Schabacker for underwriting the Yahrzeit program.


  • Annual Yahrzeits remembrances are posted. If you would like to include the names of your loved ones, send an email to and we will add them to our database. 
  • Weekly Yahrzeits are read at the Friday Shabbat Evening Service.
  • For your observance, members can receive a free candle at the Beth Chaim office. 
  • For a more in-depth read, “Chesed”— A Sermon by Rabbi Chaya Gusfield.
  • In honor of your loved one, you can make a donation.

Weekly Yahrzeit Observances July 14th to July 20th  2024

Frances Klein
Mother of Art Klein                                      July 15

Marilyn Taylor
Mother of Kelly Holden                              July 17

Rose Lederman
Mother of Herb Lederman                        July 15

Jeannette Kandel
Mother of Sandi Morris                                  July 17

Susan Kolis
Mother of Michael Kolis                                          July 17

Gan Shalom: A garden that serves our eternal needs

Our Beth Chaim Garden (Gan Beth Chaim) is a designated area within the Gan Shalom Jewish Cemetery in Briones.


Here are two prayers that you may find helpful if you are mourning or grieving the loss of a loved one, friend, or even someone with whom your relationship may not have been the best.

For Mourners
By Alison Jordan

My God and God of the generations of my people,
Please hear me in my distress:

I am grieving for _______________
Whom you gave life and length of days,
But I was not ready for __________to die.
Though I know I must eventually live with this bitter loss,
Today I feel crushed,
And cry out for just one more moment with __________________!
I yearn to be in the presence of my loved one.
Help me to reflect on what was left unfinished.
To say what I haven’t said, to hear what I didn’t hear.
My heart is heavy with grief, and regret, and full with love.

_____________, let me talk to you now as I grieve for you.
Allow me to feel you with me and honor you.

Please forgive me for what I didn’t say, and for what I may have said intentionally or unintentionally that caused you pain.

Please forgive me for what I didn’t do, and for what I may have done
Knowingly or unknowingly that caused you pain.

Forgive me for the ways I held myself apart and didn’t know you.

Release me from the pain of my failures in compassion;
For not forgiving you, and myself, when there were hurts between us.

For the times of disconnection I want to say out loud that I am sorry.

Remembering the good times brings you closer, it soothes me.
May the love in my heart serve as atonement and reconciliation,
Bringing comfort to our souls.
I am grateful for our lives intertwined.

I pray for the strength to live each day without you,
To comfort others, and honor your memory with tzedakah and deeds of loving-kindness.

God grant you your portion in Gan Eden,
And give you shelter, and give you peace.

May the endless source of being bring comfort to every soul and renew our spirits in compassion.
I am grateful, Infinite Spirit, keeper of all souls.

Sh’ma Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad.

For Mourners of Painful Relationships
By Alison Jordan

My God and God of the generations of my people,
I am distressed and confused.

Hear my prayer, answer me with compassion

During my lifetime I have experienced misunderstanding, hurt, and harm in my relationship with_____________, who has died.
Though I have sought help and understanding, I have not found peace nor recovered from painful experience and memories.
I have been unable to forgive ___________: neither have I found the ways to forgive myself for my own confusion, anger, and suffering.
Some days I feel no hope for connection and reconciliation.

This is a painful passage;
I have no answers, but my questions cry out:

How can I approach this period of mourning?
How shall I mark this Death?
How can I fulfill my obligation as a _______to one who has been a source of my grief?
How can I find solace in my community if I feel different from other mourners?

Without a community, where will I find my help?
With whom can I share this particular pain?
How can I be most true to myself, for my own sake?
What do I need at this time?

From a place of narrowness I cry out; please free me!
Breathe into me the breath of healing spaciousness