This helps to soften the pain that the mourner so deeply feels.With some exceptions, a mourner refrains from going to work during the week of shiva. For me (widowed young), I'm choosing "never"; I can't imagine that changing, but the unimaginable can happen (that's how I became a young widower).My father, on the other hand, needed the companionship after my mother died.The mourners experience a week of intense grief, and the community is there to love and comfort and provide for their needs.This is a critical point, for if one must feel the heart-wrenching pain of grief and loss, it should be done at a time when all those around are there to help and comfort.The laws of mourning have the purpose of focusing a person on their own spirituality.
Because people do not know, and because talking about death makes people nervous and awkward, the shiva house often turns into a festive gathering filled with nervous chatter, instead of the proper house of mourning.
Ideally all of the direct mourners sit shiva in the house of the deceased, for it says, "Where a person lived, there does his spirit continue to dwell." Thus the presence of the person who has passed away is strongest in his own home. Particularly, a home of one of the direct mourners will be filled with the spirit of the loved one who is now gone.
Memories will come easily there, and part of the comfort of the week of shiva is sharing such memories.
Mourners should ideally not leave the shiva house at any time.
Others must take care of any errands or outside commitments for them.