I understand now why during shiva, mirrors are covered. Perhaps in part it’s as they say—to prevent mourners from being distracted by themselves, to encourage them to focus on the deceased. During this time, loved ones share with each other and discuss the loss.
What isn’t talked about as much is the root of the tradition. Why the idea was birthed. In Germany, Belgium, China, Scotland, England, Madagascar… For as long as there have been mirrors, there have been people covering them after a death.
Because we, the ones whose lives are forever marked by yours, see you.
You stand behind me, silent and tall. Soft, accepting eyes. I tell you to go away. Come back. Don’t leave me. And it hurts so much in that moment, because my head knows what my heart can’t believe—eventually you’ll go. The soul may pause for a time, especially in cases like this. Unreadiness. A sudden rift.
You didn’t want to leave. But you have to.
Though we can’t see it happen, even the stars move on.