The concepts and symbols of Havdalah lend themselves to a variety of life cycle events. Our family has integrated special Havdalah ceremonies into all crises and turning points in our lives:
- We gathered to say Havdalah with my father as he lay dying in the intensive-care unit.
- My classmates from Hebrew Union College and our families performed a Havdalah ceremony the night before our graduation and entry to the world of Jewish professionals.
- We named my granddaughter at Havdalah.
- We marked the end of shiva for my mother at a Havdalah ceremony in her garden at the same time that we did a pidyon ha-ben ceremony for the newest of her great grandchildren.
- We marked the bonding of two friends embarking on a life together.
- We released my husband's spirit at the end of shiva under the stars and trees of our yard.