I am sorry to hear the heart-wrenching news of the passing of your child. May you and your family be comforted by G‑d along with all mourners, and may you know only joy and good news and great blessing.

There are no words that can provide enough comfort. All the same, reaching out to others is a good way to begin a healing process. My words below are in no way meant to minimize your immense pain at this time.

As I’m sure you can sense, there is no quick route or magic pill to make the pain of such a huge loss go away, or to make us understand what has happened, or undo it. Grieving is a painful process that each person must go through on their own.

As you travel along this journey, you should know that while mourning is a process with a beginning, middle and end, that end is not fixed, and the process can start over again—albeit on a higher or deeper level.

I do want to offer you some ideas that can serve as anchors for you as the waves of emotions come over you. Try to grab firmly onto these ideas and review them as many times as you need to:

  • A person is put into the world, soul into body, in order to accomplish a unique mission, a mission that only he or she can accomplish. Each of us gets a lifetime to accomplish our mission. The day of a person’s passing means that one special task here has been completed; that person’s specific job has been done.
  • Every event in our lives is purposeful and has a reason, even if it is unknowable to us. G‑d is directly involved with every detail. As limited human beings we only see a small part of the bigger picture. We can acknowledge the limits of our understanding at the same time that we pray and hope for a time when we will have greater clarity.
  • Every person is a composite of a physical body and a spiritual soul, that gives the body life. Death does not affect a person's soul. While the physical body ceases to function, the soul continues its existence. Our attachment to our close relatives during life on this earth is not only a physical attachment. Even after their passing we can connect spiritually with our relatives by doing good deeds in their memory.

Take hold of these ideas as you move at your own pace through the stages of grief. These ideas are explained at greater length in a short series of articles by a parent whose young son passed away: Why? Reflections on the Loss of a Loved One.

Finally, make sure you have a positive outlet for expressing your grief. Try to take on a personal commitment that embodies a positive quality that your child had, or involve yourself in a community project in his or her memory. In this way the energy and memory of your child will continue to live and impact others.

See Condolence Letter to Ariel Sharon upon the passing of his son from our Death and Mourning in Judaism minisite.