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When a Loved One Dies, is that the End of the Relationship?

When a Loved One Dies, is that the End of the Relationship?

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Question:

My grandmother passed away last year. I was always her favorite grandchild and we shared an especially close bond. I'm getting married in a couple of weeks, and I just can't accept that she won't be at my wedding. I am almost embarrassed to say it, but I actually went to her grave and begged her to come to the wedding. I'm not really sure what my question to you is. I guess I just want to know... did she hear me?

Answer:

Your grandmother not only heard you — she will respond. You may be surprised to learn that what you did is in fact an ancient Jewish custom. Over the generations, Jews have visited the graves of their loved ones to invite them to join in their family celebrations. The most fundamental work of Kabbalah, called the Zohar, says that the souls of departed parents and grandparents come to share in the joy of the weddings of their descendants.

The fact that you went to your grandmother's gravesite to invite her to your wedding, even though you were unaware of this custom, indicates that your soul knew intuitively what the Zohar says.

And the fact that you can't accept that your grandmother won't be at your wedding is because that isn't true. She most certainly will be at your wedding. It will be painful not to be able to hold her hand and see her smiling face, but you should feel comforted in the knowledge that her presence and her love will be right there with you.

And she'll be there whenever you need her, because the soul never dies, and a soul-connection like the one you had with your grandmother is eternal.

Aron Moss is rabbi of the Nefesh Community in Sydney, Australia, and is a frequent contributor to Chabad.org.
Image by chassidic artist Shoshannah Brombacher. To view or purchase Ms. Brombacher’s art, click here.
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Anonymous Ulster November 10, 2017

Is it not written that the dead cannot hear nor speak? Reply

Dr ahuva goldenthal N.m.b June 19, 2016

Grandma at your wedding First let me give you my condolences for the loss of your grandmother. Your grandma should rest in peace will walk you down the Isle and be there with you during your wedding and other special events. The deceased body is put to rest but her spirit and soul is alive without restrictions. Life is eternall. In our prayer it says "elokim chaim" God is life and he created man in his image. You cannot kill life. Therefore you can go to your wedding with a big smile accompanied by your loving family together with grandma. Reply

Anonymous June 17, 2016

Your religion's thought on this subject here and elsewhere that I have been reading has been very helpful and has guided me to some lesser known resources related to my own. I have also borrowed one of your prayers as circulated by "Dear Abby" which continues to be extremely comforting. Reply

Dr. Ahuva Goldenthal N.M.B Fl May 28, 2015

Relationship with the departed My Mother passed away on the second day of Shavuot. Since her passing, every eve of her Yohr Tzeit she appears to me in a dream and communicates to me as if she was alive. Her messages are clear, and she appears to me as if she was well and alive. The passing of a loved one is eternal. Just put on a candle and give charity when a loved one appears. Reply

dr. ahuva goldenthal n.m.b. Florida April 30, 2015

power of parenthood Yesterday I did some gardening and I was so emotional when I witnessed the most incredible thing ever. I took out some bushes and moved them to the other side. The big bushes were stubborn and I could not pull them out. I decided to separate each bush and slowly pulled out the babies that were tangled and hugged by their parents. The more babies I pulled and seperate from their parents eventually the think plants gave up and they came out volunterall. These shrubs were fighting as long as their babies were tangled around them. I prepared Holes in the new location and replanted the bushes and their babies. When I watered them I saw them blossoming as if they were smiling at me. This is called reincarnation of life. Reply

Dr. Ahuva Goldenthal N.M.B Florida April 30, 2015

During my work as a Holistic Health Practitioner and Spiritual Counselor I come across with many people who want to understand what is a soul and why is a person dead if life never ends. The best explanation I have is that "God" is life" and because He is Eternal so is life Eternal. In the book of Bereshit, the first chapter talks about creation. God created Adam and blew into his nostrils one soul "Life" and this is how Adam who was created from the dust was able to live. There is only "One Life" which is within us. When Eve was created God divided the soul into two and Adam and Eve became one. When a person dies, life still exist and just like cells, life is divided into all these people. The body dies but life continues. If you are looking to find God, He is within each of us. What we need to worry about is to keep a healthy spirit which ignites our will to live and act appropriately. Reply

JDV April 20, 2015

Loved one dies? Thank you, Dr. Goldenthal, for your contribution.I assume you are Orthodox. Reply

Dr. Ahuva Goldenthal N. Miami Beach Fl. April 19, 2015

Coping with your loss Recently I lost my brother of blessed memory, and last week his wife passed after being in a vegetative state for two years. The pain of losing a loved one seems intolerable, but believe it or not, God has His way to cure such pain and wipe our tears. At first I thought that I was a rock with zero feelings, but soon Hashem opened my tear ducts and I cried buckets of tears. Then came my healing process when I invited many friends and neighbors for his Shloshim (30 days after his passing), I lit a candle and displayed many pictures of my brother. Surprisingly, despite my choking voice, I managed to deliver a beautiful speech in his honor followed by a very beautiful dinner. I know that my late parents and my brother are alive because it is written "Elokim Chaim" God is life. So life never dies. The body is laid to rest until the time of resurrection in which the Jewish nation as well as many other nations believe that we are at the edge of exile. May our loved ones be great advocates. Reply

JDV April 5, 2015

Are they still with us? Are they still us? a resounding yes. I can feel the presence of loved ones long gone. All the things my mother and father taught me, both good and bad, are with me even though t their mere physical presence is not. Reply

Lenore Caplan Orsillo North Haven, Ct November 3, 2014

I recently lost my best friend and sister she was 68 years old and found out in July she had cancer. Her beloved husband and best friend was by her side just as he had been in the past. They were happily married for 45 beautiful years and did everything together except snow mobiling. My sister has two lovely girls and one adorable grandson soon to be 4 yrs old. My sister was very outgoing and loved cruising with her best friend her husband Donnie. They went on 31 cruises and was planning to go on a two week cruise last month to celebrate their wonderful marriage. My sister was the first to marry outside the Jewish faith. My parents loved him like a son just as we all thought he was perfect and fit right in with the family. He's a kind and gentle guy who has a heart of gold and would do anything for a friend. He's lost with out his sole mate but his girls and grandson are keeping him busy. My sister always had Thanksgiving at her house and this year it will be at my house. I miss youxox Reply

Grace naples, florida February 14, 2014

Kiss My daughter father; Perry became suddenly ill and within 4 days die. Perry had his entire family with him and he had said, It okay. However, when he went into the coma I was home sleeping. But all of a sudden I woke up with a gentle kiss on my lips. I knew it was Perry and I called out his name. I also knew he had die. It has been 2 1/2 years and my heart still breaks, I cry all the times, I cannot eat and I want him back! What was the kiss about, Did he know I loved him. Does he know I have so much to tell him, does he know how much I needed him in my life? Reply

Linda South Africa September 29, 2013

How do I go on My husband passed away februaray 2013, very suddenly I did not had the chance to say good bye, I found him in the backyard already dead. I have so much questions and no answers. Was he trying to get into the house, maybe wanted me to help him, and could not do it? He was, is and always be my life. I can not go on without him, I miss him so much it literally makes me sick, where is he? Will I ever be with him again. Does he know I love him as much as I always did? Does he blame me for not knowing he was home when he had the heart attack? Reply

Andrew Texas November 27, 2017
in response to Linda:

My deepest condolences to your loss... Unfortunately, I have exactly the similar questions about my wife who passed away two months ago. Perhaps, the hardest part right now is not being able to give to her or take care of her...
Reply

Dr. Ahuva Goldenthal N.M.B Fl. September 23, 2013

Death When we break up with family and close friends it is considered "Death of the Spirit." We are currently living in a cold world where people lost completely or are in the process of losing feelings towards one another, and therefore, we are going through the mourning phases of death God forbid as if we lost a family member. Many people report feeling a void, an emptiness, depression, denial, and guilt. Wake up children of Israel!!! Control you ranger, and hold your family close to heart.
Hatred and selfishness Reply

Dr. Ahuva Goldenthal N.M.B Fl. July 11, 2013

Sue Allen Dear Sue

Volunteering is great. Perhaps speaking to children and adults and telling them about honoring your father prior and after his passing and is important it is for you. Speak in schools and teach the children about all the good things your father taught you, and why it is was and still is so special to you. Teach them how to bond with love between children and parents, and how painful it is when young and grownup children and parents don't get along. That does not cost you money but it gives you precious quality time to spread your messages. This will lift your spirit and elevate your father's soul. Speaking to the world will help you open up, and God willing it will ease your conflicts and pain, and you will be able to breathe easier. You can organize one day a week for one hour to pray for the sick in your father's honor, or spend time giving lectures on his honor. Good luck.

Reply

Sue Ellen Bayside, NY July 9, 2013

Still Grieving loss of my beloved father after 1 1/2 years Dr. Ahuva Goldenthal,

I am not a person of financial means - how do I go about making a donation in honor of my father (you had mentioned a library, a contribution to a synagogue, or a special program in his honor) if I do not have funds? What type of contribution could I make to a synogogue, a library, or a program? I need your advice. I don't even know where to start! Would volunteering my time to something be considered ? I am at a point now where I don't know which way to turn. My beloved father was my hero and mentor. At this point, I am deteriorating and need guidance. I am trying very hard, but yet still continue to be torn apart. Thank you again for your inspiration and kind words.
Reply

Rosemary Brisbane, Australia July 9, 2013

To RTwanda1223 Dear RTwanda1223, I am sorry to hear of your loss.

I sense your pain & so decided to reply. But I myself can say only so much.

The first is that both the living and the dead have souls. The living are not just physical as you suggested.

The second is that we cannot assume the dead will communicate with us. Perhaps they can, But can they? And how could we understand why? The universe is very mysterious really. Rabbi Moss said the dead can be present with us. But you should watch for any assumptions. What does "be present" mean exactly? When, where, how and why? That seems like a lot of mystery too.

Your task is surely to live as best you can. That may mean focussing on living your life now.

All the best.
Reply

Dr. Ahuva Goldenthal July 8, 2013

Dear Sue Take my advice and you will soon feel at ease. Once you understand that "life" is eternal, and a physical body is laid to rest until time of redemption, you will heal. As mentioned previously do something in his honor, and his name, spirit, and soul will live on forever. Remember that God created man in His image. He has no physical body, but he lives forever. Life is life, and nothing can take life away. Trust in God and he will give you the strength to overcome your pain. Reply

RTwanda1223 St. Louis July 8, 2013

My soulmate and husband is still around right? I lost my husband last June 2012, I was wondering if it's at all possible a part of him is still here with me? If so, how is this possible and how are they able to communicate with us since they are spirit and we are physical beings? Reply

Dr. Ahuva Goldenthal N.M.B Fl. June 30, 2013

Sue Allen Now it is time for you to make something in honor of your father as a memory forever. A library, a contribution to a synagogue, or a special program in his honor. This will bring you peace and your father will greatly benefit from your contribution. Get stronger, and remember, Your father's soul is with you all the time. Reply

Sue Ellen Bayside June 26, 2013

Still Grieving loss of my beloved father after 1 1/2 years Dr. Ahuva Goldenthal - Thank you for your beautiful and kind words to me. I will be purchasing the book you recommended to me. But how do I go about "healing" my soul which seems to be "stuck" in grief?? It appears to be worsening as time progresses. I am very spiritual, but I never encountered anything like this consuming me. I much appreciate your wisdom and advice. Reply

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