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The God Squad: Which lover do we pick after death?

July 26, 2013|By Rabbi Marc Gellman

Q: The scenario: My lover and future partner dies unexpectedly. Yes, people say that life goes on, he wouldn't want you to be alone, blah, blah, blah, but when I find another person and fall in love again, when I die, do I go to my deceased lover, or do I wait for my new love to die? Or if my new love goes first, do I pick when I die who to be with? It's almost like I don't want to move on and fall in love again. Part of me wants to bide my time until we meet again and finish what we started. Please help me with this.

— No name

via godsquadquestion@aol.com

A: The first thing is: May God comfort you on your loss. Secondly, life after death and love are deep mysteries around which we construct our lives and hopes. They are not "blah, blah, blah." My view is that the souls of all those we have ever loved await us in heaven.

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I do not believe that they are jealous of each other, nor do I believe that they are upset with us that we had the courage to fall in love again after their passing. If they truly loved us, they would want us to find new love to ease the pain of being without them. What I think is happening to you is that you're still broken by grief and need some time to let your lover go.

Don't force the issue. When you are ready to give yourself in selfless love to another person, you will know what to do and your past love will not keep you from future joy.

Q: I can't get myself to pray for my dead friend because I don't know his address! He might be happy or he might be hot, if you get my drift. Help me figure this out please.

— Anonymous

via godsquadquestion@aol.com

A: Judaism teaches that the prayers of the living for the deceased go into the prayer's list of good deeds and help during the spiritual debriefing our souls go through after death. In my mind, a better and more accessible reason to pray for the dead is to help us balance our grief with gratitude. Our prayers help to focus our souls and our minds on the good works of our dearly departed. In that way, we avoid the natural danger of focusing only on the pain of what has been taken from us and not also on our gratitude for what we have been given. Prayer for the dead is an essential act of spiritual balancing.

Q: What's the religious point of view on mediums?

— J., Long Island, N.Y.

via godsquadquestion@aol.com

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