Question:

I have read about the Jewish belief in afterlife. What I want to know is: does my beloved father know — even now, since his passing — how deeply I love and miss him, and need him?

And, when I die, will I ever again be able to talk to my beloved parents (or at least have them recognize who I am, so I can communicate with them)? Will we ever meet again, in another form, but one which acknowledges who and what we are to each other?

I really appreciate being able to ask you this — it is upsetting me terribly to imagine never again, in any way, encountering him and my mother.

Answer:

Thanks for your email. Your pain radiates powerfully through your heartfelt words.

As their child, you are spiritually linked with your parents. Even now, your parents live through you, and they remain attached to you. They are very conscious of your thoughts and feelings about them.

But even more importantly, as their child, you have the ability to actually make a real impact on them and their heavenly experience. The way in which you live your own life can be of incredible merit for them. Mitzvot done in their honor, and charity given in their memory beings peace to their souls, and lifts them to greater heights in their heavenly abode.

There is also no question that in the future you will be reunited with them in a tangible way. The Talmud1 derives from a verse in Deuteronomy that the deceased converse with each other. I have no doubt that you will search out your parents when the time comes!

But until that time, I hope that reflecting on the above mentioned ideas brings you a small measure of comfort and solace.

Rabbi Eliezer Danzinger for Chabad.org