My Father Dies, My Son is Born

My Father Dies, My Son is Born

On February 16th 2009, my father died and my life changed forever.

Harvey Share

Literally as I was finishing off a big JobMob article for you just after midnight on February 17th Israel time, my cellphone rang. On the other end, my older sister was calling from Montreal. When I asked why she wasn't calling on the land line, my mother came on to say that my father had a major heart attack and was gone. Just like that.

Although my father had been watching his blood pressure for quite some time, no one expected this. He was still playing fast-paced racquetball 2-3 times a week right up until before he died. We later found out that he had been showing some symptoms but that they'd all resembled his asthma or other health hiccups in the life of a 63 year old.

Shock

As I told my sister after my mother had gotten off the phone, I was hearing what they were telling me and I knew they would never joke about something so serious, but I couldn't believe it.

I still can't believe it, and that was almost a month ago.

As a family, we're just now getting over the shock. If you've never been in shock like this – which I hope, for your sake – it's the human equivalent of a computer freeze-up where you keep clicking on your mouse but nothing is happening on the screen. Likewise, it seems like I'll be able to email or Skype my father later when his status changes to ‘online' and he'll still respond.

The shock never completely goes away. This weekend I spoke with someone who lost his own father exactly 18 years ago. “Feels like it was yesterday,” he said. I'm sure I'll feel the same way 18 years from now.

A new beginning

Noah Tzvi

The traditional Jewish mourning period is called shiva which literally means ‘seven' in Hebrew, referring to the initial 7 days after burial of the deceased. Shiva exists in part to let people console the mourners by visiting them at one central location which in this case was my parents' apartment in a Montreal suburb.

On February 18th, my brother and I flew to Montreal to arrive in time for the funeral and shiva. My mother initially tried to convince me to stay behind with my wife who was 9 months' pregnant, but the choice was clear for us and my wife's sister and mother flew in from Paris to help while I was away.

5 days later, my second son and 4th child was born in perfect health, thank G-d. This led to the unreal situation where visitors to the shiva house were offering their condolences and congratulations at the same time (“Sorry… but mazel tov!”).

After waiting 8 days before his bris (ritual circumcision), which also gave me enough time to come back to Israel after shiva had ended in Montreal, Noah Tzvi Share was named for my father Harvey Share whose Hebrew name was Tzvi.

May Noah live a long, healthy life while embodying all the incredible values of my father's legacy.

It's good to be back

So now you know where I've been for the past month, the longest period by far that JobMob has gone without updates since the site started back in 2006. My father was more than an inspiration in the creation of this site for you and he will remain so, and I'm looking forward to getting back on track with all the ideas and projects I have coming to help you during these tough times and beyond.

I hope to hear more from you, and if you'd like to send along your condolences and congratulations in the comments below, I'd appreciate it very much.

About the Author Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

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54 comments
Lance Haun says

Jacob, Great to have you back. Thank you for sharing this story with us. Both my condolences and congratulations to your family.

Lance

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Dan Schawbel says

Happy to have you back!

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Kim Woodbridge says

Hi Jacob – I am sorry for your loss. My mother passed away in December and while she had cancer we were making plans with her doctor for her care and did not expect her to pass so soon. She was just a year younger than your father – much too young. I feel better than I did three months ago but it is still hard and I feel forever changed. I guess I wanted you to know that while we don’t know each other I do understand how you feel.

And congratulations on the birth of your adorable baby boy ๐Ÿ™‚

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slavba (Slav Ben Ari) says

ืื ื—ื ื• ืžืฉืชืชืคื™ื ื‘ืฆืขืจืš, ื™ืขืงื‘ @jacobshare http://tinyurl.com/c82k3t

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Jaclyn says

Hi Jacob, I am so so so sorry to hear this awful news about your dad. I only recently found your blog and connected with you on Twitter, but have found so much value in your advice and your writing, and I had been wondering why you hadn’t updated in a while. I wish you and your family strength at this time.

I believe that time can heal some of this immense pain, although scars like this never truly fade.

Mazel tov on the birth of your son and I hope he can bring joy and laughter into your life.

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Tal says

Hi Jacob, I am very sorry to hear that your father has passed away. My condolences.

My father passed away 24 years ago, at the age of 65, and when I think of him, I recall the morning that he died as if it was yesterday. The same with my little sister, who died at the age of 37, now twelve years ago. My mother passed away two years ago. My parents gone, my only sister gone, and I don’t have any brothers.

Three months after my mother’s death my little boy Ido was born. Ido is the sunshine in my life, now almost two years. He has helped me a lot to overcome my sadness. I am not alone. I have Ido. Life goes on, Jacob. Enjoy it, enjoy your baby boy!

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Rita ashley says

Jacob, My heart goes out to you. Please accept my condolences. There is no one thing anyone can say to make this better…but do know you have a huge community who cares about you, myself included.
Warmest to you and your new addition. Rita

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Lindsay Olson says

Hi Jacob, I’m so sorry to hear about your father. I can only imagine how difficult you loss has been. Noah is a blessing, enjoy the new addition to your family!

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Jennifer McClure says

I’m blessed to still have both of my parents with me, but your description of how it feels to lose someone so dear (clicking your mouse on the computer screen when it’s frozen and nothing happens) makes it very clear how difficult this process can be. I’m so very sorry for your loss!

At the same time, you and your family are also blessed with the addition of new life and extension of your/your father’s family. Congratulations on the birth of your health baby boy!

We’ve missed you here in the blogosphere and welcome you back. My thoughts and prayers will continue to be with you and your family as you move forward.

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Sheri Weitzman says

Your father was so young, may he rest in peace.But his inspiration will continue to live in you and your boys. What you have experienced is the full cycle of life, Tears of sorrow and tears of joy all at the same time. Hold tight your father’s memories and teach of them to your children so that they can be as inspired by his memory as you are.
Mazel Tov on the birth of Noah, he will grow to be strong and fulfill all his dreams.
Shalom

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Jami says

What an amazing “ying-yang” month you’ve had! I’ve been thinking in the back of my mind this last week, “How strange that I haven’t gotten an email update from JobMob for a long time”. Mystery solved!

I’m so very sorry to hear about your father but rest assured it’s great to have you back here.

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Hadassah says

I was wondering where you had disappeared to. So sorry to hear of your loss. I hope you get much joy from his namesake and a little bit of comfort.

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Rony says

Dear Jacob,

My condolences. I’m so sorry to hear about your father, and can hardly imagine how hard it is to lose a father.
Congratulations for the birth your son. It looks like even in the hardest moments, life goes on and makes you smile again. I wish you and your family many smiles, happiness and Mazal Tov!

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Ester Malkin says

Hi Jacob, my condolances on the loss of your father, may he rest in peace, and mazal tov on the birth of your son.
When I met my husband he had already lost both of his parents. Although I never got a chance to meet them I felt a strong connection to them. In August of 2000, we made plans to come to Israel from Virginia to visit my father who was in the hospital. A few days before our departure, I got news from my brothers that my father had taken a turn for the worse and I should try to come sooner. That night, as my husband lit a yortzeit candle for his father, I silently asked my father-in-law to take care of my father. A few hours later I got news that my father was gone. The agony of not having had the chance to say goodbye to my father while he was alive will probably be with me forever but I take confort in knowing that my father in law heard my prayer and was there to greet him. They now share the same yortzeit. I’m glad that through our marriage we were able to bring these two good souls together. May they all rest in peace.
Ester

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Rena says

Thank you for sharing your joy and grief with your readers. I guess we all have such stories, since we have chosen to live far from our families; I couldn’t travel to my mother’s funeral because I was 9 months pregnant.
May your father’s memory be a blessing to you and your family and may your son grow from strength to strength.

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Moshe Egel-Tal says

Jacob – I was very sorry to hear of your loss and I offer my condolences: “G-d will console you and the rest of the mourners of zion and Jerusalem and you should no more sorrow”.
It’s always tough to get over a loss, especially when it’s a parent. You should be proud that you had a good relationship with your father and the memories will live forever.
Do something special to commemorate his name.
and mazal tov on the birth of Noach Tzvi, may you and your wife be able to raise him in health and happiness, in the way of the torah, mitzvot and inspire him with good ideals – ad 120 !

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Tehillah says

Jacob,
I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I could tell you that the pain from the shock goes away, but reading your story brought mine back to fresh tears. But the pain does fade from the forefront as we move ahead. My father died at the age of 60 from a massive heart attack 18 years ago – for me the call didn’t come while I was home… I was working in Los Angeles – 3,000 miles away from home – and my pager rang while I was driving in a not-so-safe neighborhood around 8 p.m. I pulled over and used a PAY PHONE (I wonder if younger readers even know what that is) and my little sister answered. I asked where my father was (because I had been calling my parent’s house for hours with no response) and she said “he isn’t”. That was it.

I still feel him with me sometimes. As I sit wondering what he would think about something I’m mulling over, his answer comes. And so will yours. As you are well aware, this physical life is temporary and there are better things in store on the other side.

Mazal Tov on your sweet bundle of joy! May you and your family be richly blessed by Noah Tzvi.

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Rena says

Thank you for sharing your joy and grief with your readers. I guess we all have such stories, since we have chosen to live far from our families; I couldn’t travel to my mother’s funeral because I was 9 months pregnant.
May our father’s memory be a blessing to you and your family and may your son grow from strength to strength.

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Debi Z says

Dear Jacob,
Please let me add my condolence wishes to you as well. ื”ืžืงื•ื ื™ื ื—ื ืืชื›ื ื‘ืชื•ืš ืฉืืจ ืื‘ืœื™ ืฆื™ื•ืŸ ื•ื™ืจื•ืฉืœื™ื. When my father passed away, I was at university, and was called out of class. I remember that all I could think of was how glad I was that my car was in the garage (I had smashed it up the day before – my first real accident), so that I would’t be able to drive myself to the funeral.
My father was nearly 81, and although a father is always a father, I think that we recovered from the pain more easily than if he had been nearly 20 years younger. I’ll always be sorry, though, that he never met my husband or any of my children.

And of course, Mazal Tov on the birth of your gorgeous baby boy.

Wishing you only happiness, and welcome back,
Debi

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gl hoffman says

So sorry jacob for your loss and a heartfelt best wishes to your son and your entire family.

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Dear Jacob says

Dear Jacob,

I’m still very new here – but your letter made me feel part of this e-community. Thanks a lot for sharing this thoughtful and very difficult email wth us.
Obviously that your son was born just a few days after your father left for the world to come can’t be a coincidence – may your son carry in him everything that you have appreciated about your father while living a long, healthy life.

Best,
V.

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alisa_majer says

my father also passed away suddenly, in a car accident, 17 years ago! and my brother’s wife had a baby boy 2 weeks after….
I hear quite often of births same time as deaths of grandparents.
I miss my father: I miss the fact I could have taken advantage of his wisdom today more than when I was young….and have an exchange as an adult rather than just a daughter….
so I understand.
therefore, condoleances and mazal tov! you should enjoy your new baby and be a good father to him.
Alisa

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Hessel says

Jacob
May you be comforted and, at the same time, mazal tov on the birth.
Hessel

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hayds says

Dear Jacob,
My condolences to your father’s loss and congratulations for your baby. I’m glad your back despite your sorrows.
Hayds

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Carol Berkus says

That was really a beautiful article, and a tribute to your father and your relationship with him. One doesn’t forget a parent, and I hope you will be comforted by the wonderful memories of your time with him.
May your son also be such a blessing to you.
Carol Berkus

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Scott Westerfield says

Sorry to hear about your dad. I lost my mom to a heart attack a little over a year ago. It has taken me this long to start going through her papers, etc. which I was doing just last week. I promise you it will get easier with time, and the blessing of your new son will make it that much easier. Mazel tov!

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Meryl K. Evans says

I’m sorry for the loss of your father. Barukh attah Adonai eloheinu melekh ha-olam, dayan ha-emet.

Mazel tov on the arrival of your son, Noah!

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Alex P. says

I’m sure it’s hard to sum up all the emotions associated with two events like that, but bittersweet is as close as one can get. I am sorry for your loss, and congratulations on the new baby.

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Pearl says

OMG, I’m so sorry to hear about your dad Jacob.. I still find it hard to believe that my dad isn’t with us any more either and it’s already been a year on March 17th. I didn’t believe when I was told it gets better with time, but it definitely does. However difficult this time is, I am really glad you have a reason to celebrate life with your new baby. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Wishing you nothing but happy times ahead!

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1rabbi says

May G-d comfort you and your family with all who mourn.

…and… to join on the dual messages..

Mazal tov on your son’s birth. May he grow to a life of Torah, ahavah and ma’asim tovim.

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ron ozery says

Hi !

this post can show how this web site is built in your life in bad times and good times!

Sorry to hear about your dad and so sorry for your loss … and cong’ for your 4th son – Tzvi !

ืฉื™ืจื•ืฅ ื•ื™ื’ื“ืœ ืžื—ื™ืœ ืœื—ื™ืœ ื›ืฆื‘ื™ !

ืจื•ืŸ ืขื•ื–ืจื™

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Jacob Share says

Thank you all for your heartwarming messages and encouragement. It’s been really nice to see how so many of you responded here in the comments, via Twitter and email. Thank you so much. This is a great community and I appreciate each and every one of you.

Dan- thanks.

Kim- I’m sorry to hear about your mother. It does sound like you know exactly what we’re going through. Many people have also been saying that he was ‘too young’ and I just hope that medicine improves to the point where we’ll soon be saying the same thing about 80 or even 90-year olds.

Lance- thank you too.

Jaclyn- thanks all around.

Tal- we’re all enjoying Noah, and I’m glad you have Ido. Beautiful name and it sounds like he’s living up to it.

Rita- I know it! Thanks for being here.

Jennifer- thank you so much. When you come so near to tragic death, it’s tempting to throw everything out the window and just live by the seat of your pants as if there’s no tomorrow. On the other hand, you want to live forever in defiance. Cherish everyone and keep life interesting is probably the best middle ground.

Lindsay- thanks for the kind words.

Sheri- I will. Luckily, we have lots of photos and other things to remember him by.

Jami- thanks! Sorry to keep you waiting, but there’s good stuff coming.

Hadassah- thank you.

Rony- the circle of life continues, without a doubt. I hope you can avoid such pain for a long time yet.

Ester- what an amazing story. I honestly don’t know if it would feel better to have been able to say goodbye, but I am glad that we were always very open and there was nothing else left unsaid.

Rena- thanks for your kind wishes. So you’ve also been on this roller coaster.

Tehillah- thanks so much. *Your* story is enough to make anyone cry, just terrible. Speaking of pay phones, my brother and I actually used a pay phone in Newark, the first time I’d done that in years.

Debi- Amen. And you’re right, of course. As people age more and more, sickness and even death become less shocking, and being in the vicinity means subconsciously preparing yourself mentally for when it happens. Since he was ‘only’ 63 and hadn’t really been sick, none of that preparation had occurred for us.

Moshe- Amen too. I am proud, and I will do as you suggest. Thanks for the wishes.

GL- thank you.

V- welcome aboard, and thanks.

Alisa- I know what you mean. It’s too soon to feel that nostalgia about my father, but I realized some time ago that it isn’t really fair how most grandchildren don’t get to fully appreciate their grandparents.

Hessel- I appreciate that.

hayds- it’s good to be back. Thanks.

Carol- the memories are comforting and now I need to make sure I don’t forget them. Thank you.

Scott- sorry to hear about your mom. Just by reading this thread one gets the impression that heart disease is still the #1 killer in America. Thanks for your thoughts & wishes.

Meryl- Amen & Thanks.

Alex- thank you.

Pearl- I appreciate you coming by and I know you’re right, it will get easier over time. As it is, my dad was lucky in so many ways, compared to other people he almost had reason to celebrate going out this way.

1rabbi- thanks, and may your wish come true.

ron- ืชื•ื“ื” ืžื›ืœ ื”ืœื‘

May you all be blessed as well.

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Amit says

Jacob,

My condolences to you and your family. And, congratulations on the birth of your child.

My father too passed away on March 19, 2009 and it still seems that it isn’t true. It is a loss that we will never be able to overcome.

My wife and I were planning to start a family and I do hope and pray that my father comes back as my son so that I can care for him as much as he cared for us.

Amit

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fathersez says

I am so sorry to learn about your loss. May you be given strength in this time of need, Amen

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Jacob Share says

Amit- please accept my condolences for your father, and I hope you get your wish for your son.

fathersez- Thank you.

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clarence digout says

hey Jacob, so sorry to hear of the death ot your dad, he was a great man and it was a pleasure to have known and worked for him.. some people you remember your whole life harvey was one of those people.. God must need another angel to do some other duties for him.. be well and congrats on the new baby, your friend, clarence

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Jacob Share says

clarence- we always liked you too, and I really appreciate what you said. Regards to your family and I hope you’re well. Happy Easter.

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Neil Mairs says

Jacob;
The same thing happened to me 14 years ago, when my son was born and mother died within months of each other. It made me realize what was TRULY important in life, and certainly made me a better man – and professional. Use this experience to guide you.

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Hillel says

Sorry to hear about your loss – baruch dayan emet

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Jacob Share says

Neil- your wisdom is much appreciated.

Hillel- Amen. Thanks.

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David Ziants says

May the Almighty comfort you among all mourners of Zion and Jerusalem and that we should have no more sorrows.
Also, of course, Mazel Tov on your little boy.

Approx. eight years ago, my father, also relatively young (a few years before retirement), went into a coma after a stroke and eventually passed away. This was during my first year of marriage, and we were expecting our first child. He, unfortunately, did not live to see his grandson but we were able to pass on his name, Mordechai.

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Yisrael Woolf says

Jacob,
I just read this, and although it’s been a couple of months I know that the time around holidays – particularly Pesach – can be difficult, especially during the first year. It’s been almost 10 years since my father ื–”ืœ died, but the loss stays with you. What you will realize is that this does not mean that your relationship with him is over. Not only is the life I’m living in Israel a direct continuation of his inspiration, but I continue drawing on his advice and cheerful attitude in the various trials life offers. May you continue drawing strength from your father’s memory, especially as you raise your children.
And thanks for the encouragement and advice for the many of us who find ourselves “between jobs” in this difficult economic patch.
Regards,
Yisrael

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Ashwini says

Hi..
I lost my brother 1.3 yrs ago… Its been a great loss for my family. Not a single day passes by without his thoughts… I miss him so much…

However, I am conceived now.. This is my 7th month… I somehow have a strong feeling that my brother will come back to me in the form of my son…

Do u have beleif in all this? Will his soul come back?

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Jacob Share says

David- Amen and thank you. I’m sorry to hear how well you understand our pain but I hope Mordechai will be blessed and bless you while living up to his namesake.

Yisrael- beautiful words, thank you. Although my father didn’t realize his dream of making aliya, what you say is true in that some of his children were able to do so. And- you’re welcome! Hopefully the rough patch will be a short one for all.

Ashwini- I’m sorry to hear about your brother, but I hope your pregnancy is easy and the baby will be completely healthy. There is a belief in reincarnation in Judaism but I couldn’t say how similar it is in Hinduism or other religions. That said, one of the reasons to give a baby the same name is to pass on some of the attributes of the deceased and we’re definitely hoping for that with our little Noah Zvi.

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A New Baby Girl | JobMob says

[…] same, so I’m going to take a short break. Long time readers will remember last time, when my son was born a week after my dad passed away, I stayed away for a whole month and that wasn’t easy. But not this time […]

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ketaki nagarkar chawla says

Same tragedy happened with me. My mom.dad were coming to meet me and their would be grandchild to delhi on this 25th jan 2016, however, When he got down from train he started feeling uneasy, my husband, who went to receive him, and mother both tries alot to save him bi before reaching hospital he was dead. Doctor said he got cardiac arrest. He didnt meet me for last time even i didnt see him as i was 9 month pregnant. And on 31st jan 2016 i gave a birth to baby boy. Destiny played badly with me..i am not able to smile on my son’s birth and not able to cry on my dad’s death. I miss him so badly. I want to hug him fight with him love him but i know he wont come back. My mom and younger brother are goin through same sorrow. I have lost trust on destiny and god

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    Jacob Share says

    Thank you very much for sharing your story and heartbreak with us, Ketaki. It’s not easy to live with the pain, and it’s not true that time heals all wounds. Perhaps there was a reason why that was the better time for him to go, but you’ll probably never know. But your dad’s memory should be a blessing to you, your family and everyone who knew him.

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      ketaki nagarkar chawla says

      Thanks alot…but sometimes i feel it happened all because of me..i would have not called him to meet me on that day..he could have survived then if he was at home. This thought is killing me

      Reply
Elinor Oziel says

I lost my father this january 2018 and gave birth when we got up for shiva.

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    Jacob Share says

    Condolences for your dad, and mazel tov for the baby!

    Did you name the newborn after him? For me, it was too soon, so we gave my son my dad’s name as a middle name

    Reply
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