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The Children You Never Knew

Dearest Mommy,

We are yours.

You wait for the validation of a baby’s first cry. Then, at last, you will feel that you deserve the title “Mommy.” But you are no less a Mommy than all the mothers around you.

We are your neshamalehs.

We are a paradox. We are the easiest children and we are the hardest children. We have never kept you up at night with our wails. And yet we have kept you up so many nights, as the tears pour from your own eyes.

We have never thrown a temper tantrum in the grocery store. And yet, we will never stand beside you as you walk us to the chuppah. We have never disturbed you as you davened beside the candles on Friday night. And yet the thought of us breaks your heart as you whisper the words: “May I merit to raise children and grandchildren…”

Under the chuppah, you encircled our Abba. It was the happiest day of your life. We were there. The fact that we exist only in the spiritual world does not make us less real. When you have reached 120 years, you will meet us at last. Your children.

The doctors were callous. “Chemical,” they called us. They said we were nothing but a few cells. Unviable. Incompatible with life. You cried. Abba cried, not with tears, but in his heart.

But I, your first neshamaleh, was whole and fulfilled. Because I knew that you and Abba had given me the greatest gift. You had enabled me to leave the heichal haneshamos and enter the Olam Ha’emes. Without you, I could never have known this pleasure. And yet, if I had lived, I would have had to endure the toil, the temptation, and the struggles of the physical world. My soul couldn’t bear to be a part of it. Inside you for but a few weeks, I had my gateway to the Next World.

And yet, I caused you such pain — you wanted to hold me in your arms. I was your first. I was the pidyon haben you would never make. I was the Succos bris or kiddush you had imagined. I was the due date that would never come to pass.

My sister came next. Your hopes were raised, and then dashed. You wanted a child to nurture. But she was a neshamaleh and could never have tolerated this physical world. You gave her a gift. You hosted her and enabled her transition to her True Place.

Your arms are empty. Your house is quiet. When people ask, you say you have no children yet. But in your head, you count us. We know that you have endured so much for us. Not a day goes by when you don’t think of us.

Mommy dearest, I want you to know that you and Abba have created a beautiful family. We are pure souls and you have enabled us to bask in the presence of the Shechinah. We want you to know that we think of you, too. We love you, Mommy.


All Your Neshamalehs.


Note: Information regarding miscarried children and the transition from the heichal haneshamos to Olam Haba culled from article by Rav Moshe Wolfson, “A Mission Fulfilled.”

(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 401)

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