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What Happens to My Miscarried Child's Soul?

What Happens to My Miscarried Child's Soul?

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Question:

I recently had a miscarriage. I was told that my baby died on week eight. I am still emotionally broken and suffering a lot. This was my first child. Can you please help me understand what happens to my unborn child's soul? Why do you think G‑d allowed this to happen to me? How can I overcome this terrible episode and carry on with my life?

Answer:

I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. I know firsthand how painful and scary it can be. Especially considering that this was your first pregnancy, there is no question that there is nothing harder then when that happens. I know. My first pregnancy also ended in miscarriage at about 11 weeks and I suffered another miscarriage as well. Fortunately, I am very blessed to have four healthy and beautiful children, but each pregnancy was a story all of its own.

From a spiritual point of view, I learned the most beautiful teaching from my rabbi, Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh. He told me that every soul that comes into this world comes here with a very specific mission. When that mission is completed, the soul can leave. The holiest of souls need so little time here in this world that some never even make it outside the womb, others only need their heart to beat once, others not even that.

We cannot understand G‑d's ways, but when we believe that everything happens for a reason and that nothing is random, hopefully that will help the grieving process.

Clearly, we want healthy children and easy pregnancies. But for whatever reason, certain souls do not need to come into this world, and both you and I, for whatever reason, carried such souls.

We have a number of articles on the site that I think you will find helpful and supportive during this time. Please read through the section on Fertility Problems and Loss. In that section there is a piece I wrote about my experience called: "The Empty Sac."

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. I found that knowing I was not alone, and learning that unfortunately early miscarriage is quite common, and seeing so many women who had miscarried go on to have healthy pregnancies and birth, gave me tremendous strength. I hope it does for you as well.

You may also want to take on a spiritual commitment in memory of this baby, so that you will always have something positive and everlasting. A beautiful mitzvah is the lighting of Shabbat candles. I am not sure if you already do this or if you would like more information about it. But bringing more light into this world is very powerful, especially when we feel surrounded by our own darkness.

If you are already lighting Shabbat candles, take upon yourself something else like baking challah or another mitzvah.

Anyway, I have given you quite a reading list. I do hope you find it helpful. May you be blessed with strength during this difficult time and may you soon have a beautiful baby to enjoy!

Take care,

Sara Esther Crispe,
Editor, TheJewishWoman.org

"Dear Rachel" is a bi-weekly column that is answered by a rotating group of experts. This question was answered by Sara Esther Crispe.

Sara Esther Crispe, a writer, inspirational speaker and mother of four, is the Co-Director of Interinclusion, a nonprofit multi-layered educational initiative celebrating the convergence between contemporary arts and sciences and timeless Jewish wisdom. Prior to that she was the editor of TheJewishWoman.org and wrote the popular weekly blog Musing for Meaning. To book Sara Esther for a speaking engagement, please click here.
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Discussion (18)
February 5, 2014
Miscarried Child's Soul
I was taught to believe G-d made us for a reason, but I, myself, still don't know why I'm here. I may never know why. When I think of miscarriages and deceased children, I get sad and confused, not knowing why it happened, but reading this article gave me a better understanding of life itself.
Lisa
Providence, RI
October 28, 2013
frame of mind
I had embryo with no heartbeat at 15 weeks & had D&E. It was there prior at 12 weeks and grew to true size. It was very shocking and emotional. I decided right then & there to cry over it, and get past it. True - it was not my first child, but nevertheless it hurt. However, I will not destroy my happy inner being over something we have no control over. I tell myself- it was not meant to be a healthy baby- and it was for good. I also know (& read) miscarriages are extremely common. We appreciate a healthy baby preceding that mis, and I no longer mourn that loss.
Anonymous
May 22, 2013
asking support prayer from all of U, so God will bless me again healty baby in this year, thanks.
I had complete natural misscarriage at 6 weeks & 5 days, it's our second baby.I'm so sad that time, but many times I pray, I feel better, strong again, & have hope & faith in God.Thanks for this site, I could share my feelings, & learn from all your expetience's, God bless all of you.
Anonymous
November 13, 2012
Thirty Years Later
It is strange and wonderful that I found this website quite by accident on the 30th anniversary of a miscarriage I had. I was so deeply hurt by it and confused, that I had something of a mental breakdown and had to be hospitalized for a week. While I was in the hospital I felt inundated with grief and asked several people if they thought my baby was in heaven. They all replied yes. As I write this I am sobbing as if it just happened. The babies we lost are still and always will be our beloved children. I thought I would never get over the loss, but somehow I did get through and went on to have 2 more beautiful children. The children we carried and ultimately lost will forever be a part of us, and we will be reunited with them one day. I pray that everyone who has lost a baby will find peace, and for those who are not parents yet, that they will be very soon. Love, Kate
Anonymous
New Jersey
February 27, 2012
THE SPIRITUALITY OF MISCARRIAGE
My son and his wife just suffered a miscarriage. I am deeply moved by Crispe's entry and those of others.
I am concerned that in our culture, fathers are not cared for enough. I pray more folks will attend to tem as well as to the moms.
Anonymous
Tamworth, Ontario, Canada
July 5, 2011
mscarried 7 weeks
How excited I was,pregnant again,after the previous miscarriage,I felt in my heart all was fine this time round.My children were excited,esp Josh,who was excited having a baby in the house.Went to Gynysaid I was at 7 weeks,but no heartbeat,just started sobbing,why again, started speaking to Hashem, "how can you do this again"to feel this pain in my heart again,what do I tell my huby, children.I believed all ok,even though I knew G-d had his reason, his was no consolation.Gyny said small chance of heartbeat in a week. So there was hope.So for a few days I hoped.Started miscarrying at my job of 2 weeks,It was awful, phoned huby, I could not believe this, hope was gone,ended shift 3 hrs later,I was in denial,went to hosp. did D&C,that was that, no more hope, felt so alone,wanted to get back to wrk, 24hrs later back at work, I was fine for 1st hr, then grief took over,back hurt,not coping,the manager sent me home, he instisted I take time off - now I had to be at home and THINK- what now?
DD
Netanya, Israel
July 4, 2011
No heartbeat, no closure
I can relate so much to this post, and it helps to read that others understand what I am going through. I had my first pg mc this year at 9w6d but had found out our angel was not developing after 7/8w. I never got to find out if it was a girl or boy, never got to hear their heartbeat. I always had this feeling she was a girl, and it helps for me to think of her that way - even named her maria faith. I feel so damn horrible because I am very young, and when I found out I was pg I did not want to be a young mother, didn't take care of myself and didn't go to my docs immediately. I would give anything to take all that back. Even though I did not get to hear/feel my baby, I loved her and will love her until I die. I am so glad I could find this, it helps to know that even though she was not "born" that she is still a baby and is considered one; many would disagree because I did not hear her heartbeat, but I will always see her as my baby.
Anonymous
dartmouth
March 23, 2010
I believe a soul enters the body right as the body enters this world at birth. I know this may be hard for you, but I think your child's soul has not found its body yet...
Maggie
Madison, WI
July 7, 2008
Our unborn children.
Dearest Kelly, our Rachel will know us when we meet again. It is a high and holy calling we have to love, love and to love again...I used to wake at night wondering about someone who was not home and in bed, someone was missing....even though our other three children were tucked in. Kelly, love never fails...
Michael Ackerley
Papakura, NZ
April 8, 2008
To Michael
Many years ago I lost my firstborn at term. He was a beautiful boy, perfect, but stillborn.

Nobody knew him but me. I had him growing inside of me and although others could put their hand on my belly and feel his kicks, I already felt that I was beginning to know his little personality and his ways. I knew which parts he liked rubbed and knew what types of music he would wake to, how he would be startled at a loud noise if he was awake and one happened.

You are such a kind young man to realise that there is no way you can truly 'feel' what a mother goes through. However, I know that you suffer as well. You suffer since you have lost the future you and your wife had planned with your expected baby and you suffer since you have seen your wife's suffering.
Thank you for your kind words. I am sure that you and your wife will be blessed in the future and may you have a gentle baby to help ease both of your pain.

My heart goes out to both you and your wife
Kelly Rae
Sydney, AU
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