This isn’t going to be my most articulate post for obvious reasons, so please forgive me that. I don’t even know how to start talking about this. My uncle died this past Saturday night/Sunday morning after a brief and brutal fight with liver cancer that was declared stage 4 and inoperable almost immediately after it was diagnosed late last year. I’m half a country away from every member of my family, there apparently isn’t going to be a funeral I can use to get out of work and travel to my family, and then there’s the conversion issue.
I’m a Jewish convert. My uncle was some undisclosed Christian denomination alongside every member of that half of my family aside from my father, who converted to Judaism when I was a kid. Complicating matters is the fact that my grandparents adopted me during a period of abuse, so legally the man I see as my uncle was my brother. I have no idea if Jewish law and recommendations toward mourning care about that, nor can I find any resources that mention it. The resources I can find don’t mention anything outside advising to mourn direct relations, which notably doesn’t list uncles, aunts, cousins, etc. Also I for some reason have this thing in my head that just swears I’ve heard somewhere that you’re specifically not supposed to do certain things except when the person is Jewish, and I can’t get my head clear enough to figure out what that was, even to try and verify or refute it.
And yes, I know I could talk to my rabbi but… I don’t know I’m just scared to talk to anyone who’s familiar with my actual face? Or maybe scared isn’t the word? I have no idea.
I’m completely out of my depth, I don’t know how grieving works even outside of a Jewish perspective, and I’m hoping people here can help me find some kind of something on what I’m allowed, expected to, or expected not to do Jewishly. Somewhere to start other than randomly shredding my vocal cords because crying doesn’t always wait for permission. It’s very rude like that.