Dear Rabbi Schusterman,
I lost my husband to cancer a few years ago. We had three children, the oldest was eight-years-old. The children are growing up fatherless and they really miss their wonderful and loving father. Some of them dream of him and when that happens they are very morose and miss him dearly. How can I help them?
R.E., Dunwoody, GA
Their father is gone, but they will not forget him, and they need to know that he didn’t abandon them. God had other plans for his soul. They need to know that he still loves them, and will love them forever. He wants to be proud of them as he was when he was with them. They can continue having a positive relationship with their father, even though they can only see him in their hearts and their mind’s eye.
Doing the things that he would have wanted them to do and in the manner that he would have wanted provide the key to giving them an active relationship with their father. It will also give them consciousness of God and a sense of spiritual reality, which is vital in dealing with the intangibles of life.
The terminology might need to change a bit, but these truths are equally relevant for adult and adolescent children. What’s true is true, and comforting, for all ages.
Rabbi Gershon Schusterman