Jewish Prayers From the Heart and Pen of Alden Solovy

For Bereaved Children

Ami Birthday CakeThis prayer is dear to me. I wrote it on behalf of my daughters. It’s a father’s yearning for his children, my yearning for my daughters as I witness them struggling to cope with the loss of their mother. My wife Ami z”l died after a tragic fall. As a prayer for healing, it echos the themes in the Mourner’s Kaddish, recalling G-d’s majesty and holiness. This prayer appears in my new book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and HealingTo listen along as you read, click on the triangle in the bar below. The text follows.


For Bereaved Children
Father of Jacob,
Mother of Rachel,
Source of Awe and Wonder,
Cradle and Shelter,
Our children are lost in tears,
Crushed in sorrow,
Erased in loneliness,
Bent and broken,
Their hopes, dust…
Their joys, cinders…
Their dreams, shadows.

You who comfort Zion and Israel,
Comfort our children in this moment of grievous loss,
And show them the path from darkness to light.
Renew their hope,
Rekindle their joy,
Spark their dreams,
So that they, too, will know Your healing Power,
Your salvation and grace,
Your loving kindness.
Hold them,
Lift them,
Carry them,
Until, refreshed by Your spirit,
They walk upright once again,
Toward holiness and love,
With charity and thanksgiving,
Humility and strength,
In awe and righteousness,
To sing Your praise.

© 2010 Alden Solovy and rights reserved.

Postscript: I’ve written this prayer is To Bend Light toward children — toward my children — in their grief. In doing so, I also Bend Light toward myself. Here are links to two mourner’s prayers: “After Shiva” and “For the Bereaved.” Please consider purchasing my new book, Jewish Prayers of Hope and Healing.

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Photo Source: Alden Solovy

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7 Responses to “For Bereaved Children”

  1. Donna

    Alden, Thank you for sharing your prayer. Your words describe so many of the emotions felt during this past year by those of us who love Ami. We have been crushed in sorrow in the devestating loss of a mother, a wife, and sister. I pray for my nieces, for you, and my family, that we may all find comfort and know healing as we move forward into the light of a new year.

  2. tobendlight

    Dear Donna…Amen!

    Before launching this blog, I shared this prayer with a handful of friends who, like you, say that it captures core feelings of loss and then moves gracefully to a place of healing. I’m glad that you experienced the prayer in this way.

    Perhaps, in the moment of bereavement and the grief that follows we are all like children, exposed and vulnerable.

  3. Beth Friedman

    This prayer was so very healing to me today. Like your daughters, I lost a loved one in my twenties, my brother. Sometimes I feel like I never truly greived. Your prayer helped me today and hearing your voice gave me a sense of comfort and peace. Thank you for creating such a beautiful venue to honor Ami’s memory. And in doing so, heal so many others.

  4. George Farris

    Dear Alden, I am impressed and humbled by your profound spirituality, a facet of you which I was previously unfamiliar. The thirty years that have past since we last met have forged a strength, compassion, and wisdom which now brings comfort to others in need of solace. That along with your daughters represent a meaningful tribute to the love you and Ami shared. From my experience grief is an emotion that can wash over one like a wave, and when you least expect it. Should you need to talk I am available to you.

  5. Donna

    Dear Alden,
    Today is Ami’s birthday. I read again your Prayer for Bereaved Children. Amost two years have passed since Ami’s death and although the memories are still fresh, a sense of peace has been part of this day. Prayers were said for Ami and candles lit today at church ~ she loved candles. Nikki, Dana, and you are often in my thoughts and always in my prayers. Let us stay together as Ami wished it to be. Love to you and the girls – Donna

    • tobendlight

      Donna – Thanks for sharing how you remembered Ami z”l on her birthday. (z”l means zichrana livracha, “May her memory be a blessing.”) Dana and I had several good talks about Ami this week, as did Nikki and Dana. Valentines Day is actually a bit harder for them then Ami’s birthday: Ami used to shower them with gifts — cards, candy, chocolates — all day long. It was a special mother-daughter day for years. Love to you and the gang. – Alden


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