Noah Raphael Jarashow left this world on November 30th, 1999, after struggling with Tay-Sachs for 4 years. At his funeral, this letter, from his mother, Judi, was read. It is among the most meaningful sentiments I can imagine. (reprinted, with permission, from The Silent Psalms of Our Son: Noah?s Holy Life Above the Five Senses by Jonathan Jarashow, 2001.) —ef

From The Silent Psalms of Our Son: Noah?s Holy Life Above the Five Senses

To my darling, dearest Noah:

First, my little heavenly prince, know that mommy is here and will always be with you. You have nothing to fear my little baby. Please don?t be scared; so soon you will be free. I have a vision of you dancing in the heavens unbound by anything, your beautiful face gleaming as does all of you. All I ever wanted was for you to know how much I love you, and that I am the luckiest mommy ? because you graced me with your holy, magical being. I can never thank you enough for choosing me to take care of such a holy neshama [soul]. Thank you my Noah.

Every time I looked at you I would fall in love with you. Nothing was sweeter or more precious than you. You were the most wonderful blessing that any mommy could have had. All you were was love and more love ? a sweet little package of constant love. How I love you my living doll. Noah, I ask you to open your ears so that you may hear me. Please always listen for me and please always feel mommy?s heart, and her kisses, and her arms around you and on your neshama [soul]. I am always going to hold you and kiss you. We will be together forever. Noah, whenever you need me, please call me. Don?t forget to send me signs, as you would every night. I would say, Noah, if you need me ? call me. Don?t forget, my precious. I will always be waiting for you. Mommy will hold you forever. You will never be alone. Noah, I ask you my baby, please protect your brother, Don. He loves you so much, and he?s so little himself. Please try to make everything OK for him. You were lucky to have each other. I would always tell Don, ?If Noah could talk, he would tell you he loves you so much and so dearly.? As I know you loved us all so much.

I ask you, Noah, to always be our light in heaven. Please come to us in dreams. Please tell me how happy you are. And let us know that you know ? you are loved forever and ever. My baby, I want to thank Hashem [God] for sending us the most holy neshama [soul]. You were, and are, a wonder to all of us. You have touched everyone who knew you in the most magical way. No one could get enough of you, and nobody will ever forget you, my love. Please protect us all who you love so much. We were all so lucky to have each other. You have done so much in your short but very magical life. May you always feel so loved and adored ? I send you kisses and love. Just take them and be warm. I will always hold you forever and ever.

God bless you, my darling, Noah Raphael. May you rest in peace, and be peaceful and happy forever, Amen.