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Loss of a child

Loss of a child

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Question:

G‑d chose to take away my dear son from me. Can I have my son back as a newly born son with G‑d's blessings?

Response:

The Midrash1 tells the story of Bruriah, the wife of Rabbi Meir. The couple was blessed with two boys. Lively and bright, the boys brought their parents much joy.

Then, one Shabbat afternoon, while their father was lecturing in the study hall, both sons fell suddenly ill and died. When Rabbi Meir returned home that evening, his wife greeted him at the door.

"A man lent me a fine gift," she told him, "and now he has come and asked me to return it."

"So what is the problem?" Rabbi Meir asked. "If it was borrowed, it must be returned."

"The problem is that the gift is something that I cherish very much and it is hard for me to part with it," she answered.

"But it is not yours," her husband replied. "You should be thankful that this man lent you something that gave you such pleasure and be happy to return it."

And then Bruriah led her husband to the next room where their two sons lay still in their bed.

Life goes on. There is more joy yet to come. We cherish life and mourn its passing only because life is good.

Right now it is hard not to cry. You need to cry. You need to be angry, as well, at times. But there comes a time when you need to let life go on and provide all the gifts it has to offer. In everything, there are two sides. Look at the gifts life has brought you and G‑d will provide yet more.

Wishing you a good and sweet new year and only joyous occasions from now on,

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman

Footnotes
1.

Mishle 31

Rabbi Tzvi Freeman, a senior editor at Chabad.org, also heads our Ask The Rabbi team. He is the author of Bringing Heaven Down to Earth. To subscribe to regular updates of Rabbi Freeman's writing, visit Freeman Files subscription. FaceBook @RabbiTzviFreeman Periscope @Tzvi_Freeman .
All names of persons and locations or other identifying features referenced in these questions have been omitted or changed to preserve the anonymity of the questioners.
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Miriam July 31, 2017

I am writing through my tears. I can hardly see. But, I must share what is in my heart and will be there till I die.
My father, may he Rest In Peace, lost his family in the Holocaust. Having returned from the hell of labor camp, only to find not a single Jew left in his home town of Kisvarda, Hungary. His beautiful three children ages 12, 8 and 6, were forever gone.
Eventually, he started a new family. I was born. Since my birth, I've carried the pain of his loss as if it were my own. My dear father was so badly tortured by the death of his three children, that there was not one day in his life or mine, that we did not grieve for them. To this day, their portrait hangs on my living room wall, as it has been from the first time I saw it above my crib as a child. Although my father has been reunited with them in Hashem's heavenly kingdom, I continue to mourn. I can't even imagine your pain. May you find solace in the knowledge that we will all be reunited one day. Reply

Anonymous Watkinsville July 15, 2017

I am not Jewish. But I find much wisdom and love in these posts I cannot let them go. After I lost my husband 31 years ago, I lost my son 11 years ago, it still hurts. I cry I want him back. He had a muscular disease that kept him from breathing and all the other things we need to live, eat, walk. He never stopped loving people you could see it in his eyes. I am 83 years old. My daughter has one child a daughter to whom I am close. She was born before my son died. After his death it gave me peace when I was with her. This message of a mothers love for her sons and the fact that she was able to give them back to G-d has encouraged me me so much. Thank you for sharing this.Thank you for helping me release the grasp I have on my son. I am trying to let G-d take over. With respect and love I write. Reply

Rozanne Ohio September 15, 2014

My son committed suicide My son committed suicide 3 months ago. I knew he was depressed and anxious and made sure he had 10 weeks of therapy and support including 3 hospitalizations. He was a superstar in life. Very handsome, rich, smart living a very glamorous life in LA. I contacted a wonderful Chabad Rabbi who met with him many times. Yet 2 days after being in a recovery house he took his life. He loved us, his parents, but in his suicide note said that though his death would kill us, he didn't care. I despair. How could this have been G-ds plan. Reply

Carla USA June 11, 2013

Thank you .. Bless you, Rabbi Freeman, for your postings that bring comfort and hope. Our only son died, very tragically, three years ago. The pain is still so fresh and difficult to bear. He was deeply depressed and took his own life. Your answer to the question "Does suicide Lead to Hell?" brought me the first comfort I found. I am trying hard to find hope - to find my faith again. Your words help so often. The pain of lossing a child is the same whether the child is an infant or older. I can't think of a greater pain. Finding Chabad.org has been a life-line me. I find G-d here. Reply

Rozanne July 24, 2017
in response to Carla:

I lost my only child, my son, too to suicide
3 years ago. I get great comfort from my two golden retrievers. Reply

Mia September 25, 2017
in response to Carla:

My 19 year old son, Nathaniel, committed suicide on 8/8/17.
I am devasted emotionally and spiritually.
Nathaniel means Gift of G-d.
Why would HaShem take His gift to me?
I believe G-d is omnipotent. He could have stopped my son...
I'm so broken Reply

Eunike Dyah EW indonesia November 22, 2012

I lost my 2,8 years old lovely daughter 3 days ago (Nov 20th 2012)
This article gives me comfort. Thank you. Reply

Anonymous December 9, 2008

rejoice! time here is short My friend, my heart goes out to you. but please don't be angry. I lost my daughter 14 yrs ago and I just pleaded for Gd to show me she was ok, I was taken to where they are! Im excited as I tell you this, He answered my prayer. there is a place for these babies, I saw a room with no end babies coming up nonstop. aborted babies, stillbirth and those like mine who died after birth. take your love for your child and mult. it by infinity and that is the love Gd has for your child. He is ok, and as King David said when his baby died, only I can go to him, he cannot come back to me.We spoke without words and I knew I was home, but I wasnt allowed to stay. Make sure your heart is right with the Lord and you will one day be reunited with your child. God is soo Good. Reply

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