Offering comfort to parents suffering from the death of a child from a Jewish perspective.
How Do I Cope With Losing a Child?
My departed child had a body, but his essence is his soul. His soul lives on forever. The source of much of my grief is because I can no longer relate to my child. How to I connect with a pure soul? How do I even define the ‘soul’. What is the soul’s journey through life and what happens to the soul after the body dies? How do I ‘celebrate’ my child’s birthday when the only milestone I now have is a yarhzeit, the yearly anniversary of passing? I’m looking for answers to these questions. I’m trying to lessen the feelings of grief, despair, anger, and guilt which I feel after child loss.
Finding the Joy in Life After Child Loss
Through the tears of losing a child, how can a parent find hope?
Parents mourning a child are in a special category of those who have lost a loved one. Although Judaism has a set time period for the ritual, physical trappings of mourning, the internal grief will never go away. There will always be that nagging feeling that something is broken in life that can’t be fixed. When looking at family photos, I see only the empty space where my son should be. As I go forward in my life, there’s always ‘triggers’, subtle reminders that my son isn’t with me.
After losing my child, there’s a hole in my heart that will never go away.
For a grieving parent, child loss isn’t a one time event. Like a missing limb, each day I wake up and see my son isn’t here. How do I face life each day grieving for that empty space inside of me?
Sometimes I think this world is a dream. Somewhere there’s a physical world out there where my child is still alive. It’s like I just can’t wake up from this bad dream where he’s not here. The lyrics of the song, One Day by Matisyahu, have a special meaning for me:
‘Sometimes in my tears I drown
But I never let it get me down’
Sometimes, the pain of grief does get me down. But these words remain my goal for living my life without my son. I’ll never ‘get over’ the death of my child. l’ll never forget him and I’m not supposed to. I think the best I can hope for is to find ways to deal with the grief of losing a child and accept comfort in friends and family. It is my hope that grieving parents find meaningful ways to find the joy in life once again.
Latest from the Blog
I want to address 4 feelings and thoughts about child loss that afflict me and other bereaved parents. These feelings are the most common among those who suffer from child loss. Bereaved parents have jumbled and conflicting emotions coping with the loss of a child, and these painful feelings and thoughts affect our self perception…
My son’s birthday is today. Jewish tradition places great importance on the day of a person’s death, the yahrzeit, but not so much on the day of birth. Ever since my parents passed away, I observe their yahrzeits each year. I just never think about their birthdays. After I lost my son Jacob, his birthday…
I lost my son at the young age of 24. The sadness of child loss never goes away, and I thought the intensity would diminish over time. Instead it seems that, in some ways, coping with child loss is harder for me now than it was then. Even though my son passed away a while ago,…
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This blog is in loving memory, l’ilui nishmat of Jacob Roth (Yaakov Ephraim ben Tuvia Henoch), who passed away at twenty-four years of age. May his neshamah have continuous aliyot in Shomayim.