A usual Sunday morning, so I expect the usual routine: wake the children up, dress the baby, make sandwiches for school while they all eat cereal, remind them to brush their teeth, hope they do, a kiss goodbye. But it doesn't happen. As I pull on Tirtza's sock, I feel my engagement ring catch on the soft fabric. Right away a cold, clammy feeling of unease settles in my stomach. I have other rings whose claws are a little loose and catch on clothing, but this ring never does. I yank my fingers out of the tiny sock. There should have been a solitaire diamond sparkling there; instead the claws of the ring close over a horrendous gap of nothingness. Two sharp claws of gold brandish upwards, digging into my heart.

My husband comes home ten minutes later. I don't tell him that I lost my diamond"Everyone get up now," I call loudly and give Yaacov, whose bed is nearest to me, a sharp poke. "I've lost my diamond."

The loss of precious objects is one of the pains that we learn to deal with from an early age. Children misplace toys and stickers. Bikes are stolen. In fact, this wasn't the first time I lost a piece of expensive jewelry. For my tenth birthday, my parents treated me to my first pair of dangling gold earrings. For the first time, I wasn't wearing just plain studs. Tiny, golden bells slipped into my earring holes on little hooks. Every time I moved my head, the miniature gold pendulum hit the sides of the bell, tinkling to remind me how deliciously spoiled I was. Two weeks later, in spite of my mother's dire warning, I went swimming wearing those earrings. Trying to find the earring in an Olympic-sized pool was hopeless. From that day on, I wore the remaining earring as a pendant.

Some things have sentimental, not monetary, value, but their loss is no less painful. Like the porcelain cookie jar that my Hebrew teacher gave me for our wedding. It never worked as a cookie jar because the seal wasn't airtight, but it lasted seventeen years as a vase. One morning, as I shook the dust off the white and pink silk roses that stood in the cookie jar, it slipped out of my hand. As I watched it about to hit the floor, I was still hoping it would come out whole somehow. When I swept up the shards, I reminded myself that now I could finally throw out the lid to the cookie jar that had been cluttering the top shelf in one of my kitchen cabinets.

And then there are the things that are valuable because they help you get through life pleasantly. Years ago, we finally purchased a stereo system that filled the house with clear music. For six months in the mornings, the children woke to tapes of drums and upbeat singing bouncing off the walls. In the evenings, the soft sound of violins and flutes lilted through the air as they fell asleep. Then a malfunction, which I soon discovered affected every such system that had been sold by that manufacturer, put an end to the perfect notes that resonated through our home. We bought a portable tape recorder.

Whatever the loss, monetary, sentimental or just plain practical, I so dislike that dismal feeling, the regret and the "what ifs," that I have always preferred to accept the loss, forget about it and move on. Until now, when I have lost the diamond in my ring.

My husband comes home ten minutes later. I don't tell him that I lost my diamond; the children do. That explains the laundry baskets in the basins, the washing machine that is switched off mid-cycle and the furious sweeping that I am engaged in. My husband takes over the search. Children are dispatched to check the closets I opened that morning, the garbage bags, under the beds. My husband and I open the drains under the basins and the filter of the washing machine. Then, finally, we give up and he sits down for breakfast. I cry.

I just couldn't understand what I was supposed to take from the unpleasantnessI feel heavy, exhausted, drawn. That black, sinking feeling has wrapped itself around my heart many times. The light in the house has become dull, lifeless. I want my diamond back. I want to see the rainbow hues cast by my diamond when the sun's rays hit it at just the right angle. Those dancing circles of light are the moments of joy my husband and I created.

Sunday, the first day, is the worst. I try to think of what lesson I could learn in this loss. Was my Creator trying to help me feel the pain of others? I just couldn't understand what I was supposed to take from the unpleasantness.

I probe deeper. Impatiently, I toss aside all the debris that has recently accumulated in my mind, hunting for some insight, some Torah thought that will anchor me. I am sweeping the floor again when I decide that maybe this was a gift, a blessing. Maybe something much worse was about to happen to me, and instead G‑d only took my diamond away. This conclusion may work another day to explain another mishap, another crisis, but today I cannot appreciate that I could have been saved from unknown disaster. The pain of my loss is too fresh.

Now it is Monday. I search through the lining of my pocketbook, even though I haven't used it for a few days. I tell myself that unlike the adage, a diamond is not forever. The loss is not tragic. I wonder if we will buy another diamond. Perhaps I will settle for a zircon. I talk continually about my empty ring.

My husband is surprised at me. "You never worry when you lose something." I know he is remembering the bell earring I told him about. "You're never upset when something breaks." I realize he is thinking of the cookie jar, the stereo system. "But this is different," I sniff into a tissue, "You gave it to me." My husband nods.

I try to find meaning in my loss. Finally, amongst the dust that I have swept up once again, between the insights stored deep in the attics of my mind, rising out of the mists of prayer, I find comfort. It doesn't sparkle like a diamond. But it wraps itself around me and gives me meaning. I open my heart to the meaning.

I realize that G‑d is in control of everything. This thought is not a misty realization, a mirage that evaporates with the heat of my tears. I feel in the depths of my soul that if G‑d wants me to have something, I will have it, and if not, I won't. I know that I can suddenly find my diamond in the box of tissues on my bedside table. If I don't, I'm not meant to have it any more. I focus on everything I do have: my family, the hair on my head, my three soup ladles, the silver clock from my grandmother. G‑d really wants me to have these things. How many gifts He has given me!

The loss is not tragicI experience the pleasure of connection. I pray intensely, begging for my ring to be whole again. I don't just reiterate my request, focusing on my need. I don't simply say, I really, really want my diamond back. I try to focus on who I'm talking to: the living G‑d who is right in front of me. Who hears me and shares my pain.

It is Tuesday. I have spent two days thinking. I dismiss the dismal feeling, the regret and the "what ifs." I am ready to move on. I accept that G‑d gave me a diamond as a gift for eighteen years and has now taken it away. It's time to appreciate the new gift: the connection I have forged with my Creator.