A member of our shul, a mother of five, lost her fight with cancer on the first night of Rosh Hashana. When the family realized that her death was near, they checked her into the hospital and stayed with her. Had she died at home, the burial would have taken place on Yom Tov with the family walking to the local cemetery. But the hospital storage facilities allowed the funeral to be postponed until Motzei Rosh Hashanah. Close to a thousand people attended including the mayor, whose son had been her student.
When my own mother died I learned that most people continue to leave shul during the Yizkor memorial prayer until after the year of mourning. We found that there was not much basis for this custom, and the rabbi said I could do what I want (I went). I noticed that the teenage daughter, who had finished shiva only the day before, did stay for Yizkor. In our shul, the chazan (cantor) says a prayer in memory of the members who have died over the years. The mother’s name was read for the first time.
May her family take comfort from her memory during the coming year.