Rafael Grossman was a successful pulpit rabbi, president of his state's rabbinical council, and the dean of a Hebrew Day School when his teenage daughter Shoshana became ill.
Shoshana, vibrant and energetic, a delight to her parents and everyone around her, died at the age of seventeen.
After her death, Rabbi Grossman was sure that he would never quite have the same faith in God or regain his joy in living. But as the years went by, he appreciated how Jews throughout history had managed to sustain hope in the wake of personal and communal calamities.
He, too, regained his hope.
He wrote My Shoshana: A Father's Journey Through Loss in the form of a letter to his daughter. It is an expression of his love, and his never-ending sorrow, but also of his sense of renewal.
And the recognition that, with our memories, no one is truly lost to us.
Today, Rabbi Grossman counsels grief stricken families and survivors of loss. He offers his letter as a "little book of comfort" to grieving readers everywhere.