This week my conversation about finding the beauty in life and learning to accept the inevitability of death with Rabbi Steve Leder continues.

Along with being the Rabbi at Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles Rabbi Steve Leder is the author of five books, including The Beauty of What Remains and his newest book, For You When I Am Gone.

We’re discussing how to answer your kid’s questions about the afterlife, the best and worst things to say to someone who is grieving, how to model for our kids the power of showing up in the face of loss, and how to accept and embrace the non-linear process of grieving.

This two-part episode will offer you tangible tools for infusing your daily life with even more meaning, purpose, and a profound sense of connection.

Steve (00:00):

Grief is essentially love obstructed. And if we can help children find this place in their hearts and souls to where they in to it and realize that ultimately what death reveals is a profound love that is still with them, that is a beautiful realization and that changes your life when you begin to see death in that way.

Dr. Sarah (00:34):

Last week I released part one of my conversation with Rabbi Steve Leder, who’s the author of five incredible books, including The Beauty of What Remains and his newest release For You When I’m Gone. When Rabbi Leder and I sat down to talk, we didn’t plan to have a two part episode, but there was just so much to say about the topic of death and embracing the ability for it to bring beauty to life rather than fear. So if you haven’t listened to last Tuesday’s episode yet, that’s a good place to go back to so you can start the conversation from the beginning. We talk about preparing your child for death before it affects them personally, how to help them navigate things like funerals and grief and the importance of honest and open dialogue. Our conversation concludes this week with our discussion about answering our kids’ questions about the afterlife, the best and worst things to say to someone who is grieving, how to model for our kids, the power of showing up in the face of loss, and how to accept and embrace the nonlinear process of grieving.


Hi, I’m Dr. Sarah Bren, a clinical psychologist and mom of two. In this podcast, I’ve taken all of my clinical experience, current research on brain science and child psychology, and the insights I’ve gained on my own parenting journey and distilled everything down into easy to understand and actionable parenting insights so you can tune out the noise and tune into your own authentic parenting voice with confidence and calm. This is Securely Attached.


All right, now let’s jump back into my conversation with Rabbi Steve Leder.

Steve (02:21):

So we talked about the funeral, preparing age, appropriate ages, et cetera, engaging the kids in death and loss. Let’s talk about the importance of modeling, showing up as opposed to avoiding people who are in pain. Engage your children in reaching out to people who are grieving. Let them help you make the cupcakes and drive them over there. Help them send a card or a text or an email or a YouTube video to their friend whose grandmother or grandparent or grandfather or whomever, uncle, cousin has just died. Show up. People ask me all the time, Steve, I’m going to make up a scenario. Steve, my best friend from college just got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and I’m going to go see her and I don’t know what to say. I tell them forward words, show up and be real. That’s it, Sarah, after almost 40 years as a rabbi, when I’m standing on the front doorstep before I walk into a home where people are grieving and mourning, I don’t know what I’m going to say. All I know is I need to walk in that door and be myself. The rest will unfold.


And here’s the good news. We all know how to do that. We all know how to walk in a door and be ourselves because that’s all that people need. First of all, is there really anything to say? No. Your presence is your voice and you don’t have to make small talk. Talk about their feelings, talk about the person who died. Share your memories. They want to talk. They want your stories. They don’t want to talk about the weather and the final four. They want to talk about their dad and what you might remember, and they want you to be you. So a friend of mine whose son suicided, and he’s a rabbi about my age, a little older, he said the most painful thing for him was when people would try to comfort him by putting on some phony, poorly acting, poorly acted empathy like, oh, oh, I’m so, oh my God, this is so terrible. I can’t even imagine. He said, okay, first of all, that’s bullshit. You can imagine every parent has imagined this. Don’t tell me you can’t imagine it. Tell me. You can only imagine it. Secondly, what really comforts people, what really assures them that the bottom hasn’t fallen out of the universe is if you’re yourself, if you’re a feller, feel. If you’re a joker, joke, if you’re a crier, cry, if you’re a hugger, hug, if you’re an errand runner, run errands. It doesn’t just be real. Okay? And that’s all you have to know. Show up, be real. There’s no script. You want to hear a beautiful morning custom. The Navajo have this beautiful custom that when someone dies in the village, you go to the mourner’s home, you walk in, you sit down, you stay for a while, and you leave. You say nothing.

Dr. Sarah (06:25):

You just show up.

Steve (06:27):

You just show up. It’s beautiful.

Dr. Sarah (06:31):

I love that too, because it doesn’t ask anything of the recipient of your presence.

Steve (06:36):

Well, that’s very important too. The worst thing you can say to someone who’s suffering is these seven words. Let me know if you need anything that is kabuki empathy. It’s not real. First of all, most people don’t even mean it when they say it. They hope to hell you don’t call. But even the people who are sincere, what have they done? They have placed an additional burden on the shoulders of the person who’s suffering. Now you have homework, Sarah, now you’ve got to tell me you want me to go to Whole Foods and pick up this or that. Now you have to tell me to walk your dog or drive carpool or bring you groceries or that you’re allergic to peanuts, whatever. Just do it. Do not ask. Anticipate what you think the person needs that you can do that will be helpful and just do it. Because even if you’re wrong and you show up with the peanut butter cookies and they’re allergic to even if you’re wrong, you’re right. You’ve done the right thing.

Dr. Sarah (07:42):

And it sounds like inviting our children to be a part of that process.

Steve (07:45):

They have to help bake the cookies, write the letter, make the card, blow up the balloon, show up, okay, just show up because otherwise you’re teaching your children to run away from people who are suffering. And by the way, someday that person who’s suffering is going to be you.

Dr. Sarah (08:08):

And I think, yeah, setting them up, if there’s nothing about this that’s in any way altruistic, it’s simply just so that our kids can handle our own death one day. Of course, yeah.

Steve (08:20):

Yes. They’re watching. I had lunch two days ago with a woman who is taking care of her mother, who’s really starting to struggle pretty mightily with dementia, and one of the things I said to her, she loves her mother and she’s doing everything she humanly can. And I said, your kids are watching and they’re learning a really important lesson. And yeah, there may be some enlightened self enlightenment here or enlightened self-interest in what you’re doing. I know that’s not the only reason, but your kids are watching and they’re learning, and it’s about showing up. I told her that my dad had Alzheimer’s for 10 years, and when I was a little boy, I remember watching my dad shave, when you’re a little boy and you watch your dad shave, it is like the most manly thing you have ever seen in your life. It is just as studly as manly as it gets. And then there I am shaving my dad and he’s in a diaper and a bib and I’m shaving him. And I saw this felt this painful, but it very deep and beautiful symmetry to it also. And we care for them and they care for us. That’s the powerful, beautiful part of love. And I see no reason to distance our children from that.

Dr. Sarah (10:19):

Yeah, no, I think if I take anything away from this episode, it will be that there’s beauty in this, even though it’s scary and sad and makes us face things that are hard to face, one, our kids can handle it. They really can. They’re very resilient and fully capable of handling that.

Steve (10:43):

And curious and curious.

Dr. Sarah (10:45):

Yeah. There’s one thing I was really struck by actually when I was reading your book, was that kind of how similar the beginning of life and the end of life can be obviously in terms of we come into this world in diapers and sometimes we leave in diapers, but also just the unique vulnerability of dying plus the sort of intense strength and capability to tolerate fear and anxiety and death. You spoke in your book about how all these people who you speak with as they enter into death are not afraid. They’re actually at deep profound peace with things and they might be afraid of stuff but not death.

Steve (11:29):

Well, they’re certainly not afraid for themselves.

Dr. Sarah (11:33):

Yeah. But children are so similar in that respect. I think of children so much as these, yes, they are incredibly vulnerable dependent beings, and we need to be sort of this grounding presence and self-regulatory container for them, but they’re also so strong, so resilient, so whole from the day they’re born. I was really struck by that kind of parallel of treating someone who is young and someone who is very, very old or who is dying, who’s in that vulnerable state with the same kind of dignity and respect as we treat anybody else because they can handle it.

Steve (12:15):

Not only they can handle it, they’re fully alive human beings and they deserve that respect. And to the point, by the way, this is why I called the book The Beauty of What Remains because death strips away and leaves behind something so crystalline and pure and essential about the power and the beauty and the meaning of life itself. And there is no other way. There is no other way to feel that power. And by the way, being a death professional, which you and I are, it does not in any way diminish alter change, make easier the experience when it’s our turn and it’s our parent.


What Steve leader, the rabbi experiences when it’s death up close is completely different than what I experienced when my dad died, when it was the son, not the rabbi. So look, I want to be sure we cover the full spectrum here for kids. So we’ve talked about preparation and showing up and what to do after. What we haven’t talked about yet is afterlife, which children ask about a lot. And this is one of those places where parents tend to subordinate their children’s thoughts or needs by papering them over with their own or by trying to protect their child. Oh, grandma’s in heaven with papa now and cocoa the dog, and everything’s fine, really. Now, if your kid says that, you lean into it. As I said before, a lot of people believe that some people believe this and other people believe that. I’m not saying that you can’t have the conversation, but don’t preempt the conversation with your own worldview. Listen, where’s grandma? Where do you think? And just to cut to the chase here, I think that the honest answer whether a child is asking me or an adult, the first thing I say is, well, no one really knows.


Because there’s only one way to find out and you don’t come back. Okay? Judaism has multiple views of the afterlife. There is no one single view of the afterlife. And frankly, it’s not even mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, in the Torah, it’s not even mentioned. So I think one is I don’t dispossess the kids, and where I generally go with these kids is that human beings, all of us, we were made up of two parts. We have a body part that dies and returns to the earth, and then we have a soul part, the part that doesn’t die when our body dies, the parts we remember, the ways we may look like someone, the things we learned from someone, the things we loved about someone, they’re not dead. They’re very much alive. And that’s far enough, in my opinion, for a child. They know they can remember their nana, and they know because I was there with them and we talked about it and they saw it. Nana’s body has returned to the earth. I’ve seen at least a thousand dead bodies in my 40 years as a rabbi. I don’t know if you’ve had that experience yet.

Dr. Sarah (16:34):


Steve (16:35):

But when you do, you’ll realize how much more there is to us than our bodies because when you look at a dead body, it is so clearly not that person. So clearly. So clearly. And that’s when you realize in a very deep and visceral way, our bodies are only a fraction of who we are and a fraction of our story. What comes next? I don’t know. But you know what? I also don’t spend a lot of time worrying about it. Do you spend any time worrying about where you were before you were born?

Dr. Sarah (17:21):


Steve (17:21):

Who cares? I don’t. So I kind of look at it that way. I don’t know where we’re going or what happens to our soul, and maybe it’s all bullshit and you really are completely gone. Except I can think of my dad 10 times a day, so he’s not really gone. And by the way, if that’s a projection, okay, it’s my projection. I can’t stand this. When people say, well, it’s not real, it’s your projection. That’s like saying, when I have a dream that I remember, the dream wasn’t real. Yes, it was. Dreams are real. They’re not concrete, they’re not material, but they’re real.

Dr. Sarah (18:02):

Yes, because they’re our true experience.

Steve (18:05):

Yes, yes, yes. And the way I kind of look at this, I’ll get a little rabbi geeky on you for a second here. So the Hebrew word for word and the Hebrew word for thing, like a noun, an item, it’s the same word. You cannot distinguish in Hebrew between the word for word and the word for thing. The word by the way, is davar. Davar means word. But if I asked you, give me that davar on the couch, give me that thing on the couch. It’s a physical thing. It’s both.

Dr. Sarah (18:50):


Steve (18:51):

Alright. So what does this mean? It means that the line between the material and the spiritual doesn’t really clearly exist.


They’re related. Words are real. Words can build, words can destroy words can create, right? That thing magicians say Abracadabra. That’s an Aramaic phrase from the Talmud. I create as I speak, think about the mythology of the Bible, and God said, let there be, and there was God creates with words. Now, the Bible’s not a history book or a textbook. It’s a book of truths, not facts. And it’s really true that words despite not being concrete are real and have real power. So this is true of our lives too. Even when our bodies die, our lives continue on in many ways, some of which we can imagine, many of which we have no idea.

Dr. Sarah (20:23):

Yeah, no, I think it’s interesting. We obviously have very different jobs, but in a lot of ways there’s this sort of Venn diagram overlapping piece.

Steve (20:34):

I think that psychiatry and psychology at your level is a secular form of religion.

Dr. Sarah (20:43):

I think that’s why I like what you write about so much. Like, oh, this. I think…

Steve (20:49):

It’s the same questions.

Dr. Sarah (20:51):


Steve (20:53):

What animates us? What gives life meaning and purpose? What do we do with this feeling of having only a modest degree of control over our own existence and the existence of others? These are religious questions. These are also scientific questions. I guess the difference I would say between religion and science is that science is an exploration of why things happen, of how things happen. I’m sorry, science is an exploration of how things happen and what you and I explore is why they happen.

Dr. Sarah (21:40):

And how do we make sense of them internally so that we can be at peace with that reality. Whatever our perception of that reality is.

Steve (21:49):

We’re about the why.

Dr. Sarah (21:51):

Yeah. And going back to this idea of death, dying, our own feelings about it, how do we help show our children the beauty in it as well? A lot of your book and your work is about taking this thing that is really hard and allowing it to give us a sense of meaning, of direction, of appreciation for the moment that we’re in now. And if that’s what we teach our kids, that’s a really valuable thing.

Steve (22:27):

And not to deny that it isn’t worth it. I think that’s very important. I’m not in the business of glorifying suffering. I am not in the business of pretending suffering is something other than suffering it. It hurts. It’s awful, and it is not worth the valuable lessons you’re going to learn from pain. Our mission is to make sure it’s not worthless. The way I put it is if you have to go through hell, don’t come out empty handed. It’s not worth the hell you went through. I wish my dad didn’t have Alzheimer’s for 10 years. I wish he was still alive. I wish he didn’t die the way he died. And none of what I learned as a result of it was worth what happened to him. My job is to be sure it isn’t worth less.

Dr. Sarah (23:38):


Steve (23:39):

That’s also why I called the book The Beauty of What Remains. Let’s be honest, the loss, and now let’s see if there’s anything beautiful in what’s left. And of course there is.

Dr. Sarah (23:53):

Right? And embedded in that is a communication. If you’re translating this to your child, for example, it’s a communication that you will be okay surviving this, you will be able to keep going.

Steve (24:07):

And it’s actually proof of love. That Psalm, The 23rd Psalm, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, right?

Dr. Sarah (24:16):


Steve (24:17):

So that Psalm is read at every Jewish and Christian funeral virtually in Western civilization. And the reason most people think it is red, and it is one of the reasons, is because the very first verse kind of compares death to this beautiful eternal afterlife like lying in a green pasture beside a calm, beautiful still lake, right? That okay? Yes, death does bring peace to people who are suffering. Yes. But I think there’s something much deeper spiritually and psychologically going on in that psalm, and it’s in that verse that says, yay, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil. Now, think about the genius of the psalmist talking about a valley of shadows as a metaphor for grief. Because if you think deeply about a shadow, no matter how long it is, no matter how dark it is, a shadow is proof of light.

Dr. Sarah (25:30):


Steve (25:30):

You cannot have a shadow unless the light is still shiny. It’s obstructed it in the Psalm, it’s obstructed by mountains and you’re in a valley. But the fact that there are shadows is proof that the sun still shines. So grief is essentially love obstructed. And if we can help children find this place in their hearts and souls to where they intuit and realize that ultimately what love reveals, what death reveals is a profound love that is still with them, that is a beautiful realization. And that changes your life when you begin to see death in that way. And by the way, to your point about resilience, the Psalm also says, we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. We don’t stay there forever.

Dr. Sarah (26:35):

This comes and it goes.

Steve (26:37):

You put one foot in front of the other somehow. I think literally putting one foot in front of the other is an act of faith.


Walking is an act of faith. Listen, if you were a member of my congregation and we had done the intake, I spent a couple hours with your family preparing for your dad’s funeral, I show up at the cemetery. Let me tell you what I’m going to say to you, Sarah. I’m going to say, Sarah, I wish I had something really profound to say to you right now, but this is just one of those days you get through, we’re going to put one foot in front of the other until I walk you out of here, and I’m right by your side. That’s it.

Dr. Sarah (27:31):

Yeah. I got goosebumps. I feel that. Right? And it’s funny, you were talking about your own anxiety and we’re talking, I think the reason I even felt like we needed to have this episode is because really parental anxiety, leading them to ask those questions, how do I help my child deal with death? Which really is at the end of the day, them asking, how do I cope with my child asking about death? And it all comes back to anxiety. And that’s one thing I know I could speak on. I can’t speak to the theology piece, but I could speak to anxiety and that I genuinely believe the antidote. We’re all going to feel anxious. But the antidote to that fear of being afraid, kind of anxiety, that I don’t think I can handle this. I think on some level I might have this unconscious thought, this feeling will annihilate me.

Steve (28:27):

Yes. And we can ameliorate some of that. One of the other things I’m giving you all my secret rabbi cards here is I would say to you, your dad is fine. He’s fine. The rabbis called death perfect sleep. He’s at rest and he’s at peace. He’s fine. You are suffering.

Dr. Sarah (29:01):

And you can handle this feeling and it will come and it will go, and it might live with you for a long time, but your life keeps going.

Steve (29:09):

Well, I’m interested in your thoughts about this. A long time ago, I came to the, so I’m 64. I’m roughly your parents’ age. We were the first generation raised to think about death in the context of Elizabeth Kübler-Ross‘ work.

Dr. Sarah (29:31):


Steve (29:32):

Her books came out when we were in high school. Now, her work was actually quite a bit more nuanced than most people realize, but the titles of her work created a misnomer in the past two or three generations because she talks about stages of grief and stages of dying and death. This implies that grief is a linear process that first you feel A then B, then C, then D, and then E. Then you’re done as if grief is something that clears up a little bit each day like a bad rash until it’s gone. And any of us who have grieved and are grieving know that isn’t true.


The way I put it to people is anybody who thinks the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, knows nothing about grief. And that’s why in the book, there’s a chapter called An Ocean of Grief. First of all, it gives a sense of the enormity of it all, but also grief is much more like waves than it is linear or stages. Stages in why? There’s only one way to do it. There’s no wrong way to grieve. And by the way, there’s only one expert in your grief. You right? So it’s much more like waves. They come very close together and very aggressively at first. They do spread out, and you do get some beautiful, calm seas. And it’s also true. You can have beautiful, calm seas for years, decades, and one day your back is turned and a rogue wave of grief just rises up and takes you down.


That’s grief. And to extend the metaphor, this is something that really helped me in my life in the aftermath of my father’s death, it, it’s why I wrote that book, the Old Steve Leader, before my dad died, whenever a wave was coming at me didn’t matter what a wave of anxiety, a wave of hard work, a wave. I subordinated my anxiety by working all the time. Anytime a wave was coming at me, here was my default setting, okay, I’m going to plant my feet, I’m going to stick my chest out, and I’m going to take the wave. I can take any wave. And I tried that when my dad died, and I ended up thrown against the rocks upside down and just gasping for air. So I changed in the confrontation of loss and grief, I changed my default setting. Now, when a wave comes at me, I approach it the other way, which is I lie down and I let it wash over me, and I just float with it until I can stand up again, and I reach my arm out when I’m floating in that grief, and very often there’s someone standing next to me who will reach back and help lift me from my suffering.

Dr. Sarah (33:11):

That’s so beautiful.

Steve (33:13):

That really is beautiful. And this is a way in which death made my life better. Now, when the waves come, not just waves of grief, and maybe this is the 125 milligrams of Zoloft talking too, which is fine with me. I’m good with store-bought. I don’t care. Yeah.

Dr. Sarah (33:38):

I always say it’s a buoy. It’s a buoy. Life is putting sandbags in our boat. Sometimes the answer is to take the sandbags out, but sometimes it’s to put on buoys.

Steve (33:47):

Yeah, I’m fine with store bought.

Dr. Sarah (33:49):

You just gotta keep the boat floating.

Steve (33:49):

Yeah, I put Zoloft in the water supply in this country. If they allowed it, I’d be right up there with fluoride and maybe some Adderall too. So I don’t care that it’s store bought. And maybe, yeah, okay, Steve, it’s really the serotonin talking here, but I’m telling you that my father’s death taught me not to be so freaking heroic and just to float with it, it caused me to engineer my retirement trajectory because let me put it to you this way. This is the upside of the downside. Now, to really understand this, I have to give you a little background. My dad and I have looked almost identical at each stage of our lives. So if you saw a picture of me at 10 and my dad at 10, other than the clothing, you couldn’t tell the difference. And I know your listeners can’t see me right now, but you see these bags here. You see these. That’s my dad. That’s my dad. I look in the mirror now and I, I’m looking into my father’s eyes.

Dr. Sarah (35:11):


Steve (35:13):

So now I’ve helped a thousand families stand next to the bodies of their loved ones before closing the casket and getting ready to begin the funeral. And to be honest with you, Sarah never affected me very much. I was doing my job. I was there to help, so I was there to support them, but my loved one’s body there in the casket, and frankly, I could have eaten a sandwich standing next to them doing that because you have to have a shard of ice in you to help other people Now. So this is like 35 years of doing this, and my dad dies. I fly home to Minnesota to Minneapolis for the funeral. I’m waiting with my family in the room before we go out into the sanctuary, and the young rabbi comes in to take us out to where my father’s bodies in the casket, and for us to view my dad before it’s closed and the funeral’s going to begin. When the young rabbi walks in the room, I said to myself, I know exactly how the rabbi feels right now, but I have no idea how I feel. It was surreal. It was a first, despite it being a thousand times before.

Dr. Sarah (36:35):

Right, because it’s not the same.

Steve (36:37):

It’s not. So we walk in and I approach the casket and I put my hand on my dad’s chest. I didn’t want to feel his skin. I knew it would be cold, and I just didn’t want to feel that. I put my hand on my dad’s chest and I looked at him at his body, and I thought to myself, that’s how I’m going to look when I’m dead and my son is bending over my body, I am going to die. I was 58 years old, a professional in the world of death and loss. And it wasn’t until that moment I realized that I am going to die. And that realization about my own death changed my life and made it more beautiful. And no, it wasn’t worth it. But we don’t have a choice about that. So we have to grasp all this beauty that remains.

Dr. Sarah (38:04):

Yes. And I think this book is really powerful. I really recommend anybody get it because like you say, we all have to experience this at some point, and maybe we already have, and we need to figure out how to make sense of what we experienced. You have other books too that I think are really awesome for you when I’m gone on, and maybe one day you’ll write a book about dealing with death in parenting and talking about it with kids.

Steve (38:39):

I’ll tell you what’s next. First of all, I have an idea for you. It doesn’t have to be me, but my second book was called More Money Than God, and Money is an issue where parents, I think vis-a-vis parenting, most parents could do a lot better. And so money has a lot of demons attached to it.

Dr. Sarah (39:05):

Yeah, I was going to pull that intergenerational trauma.

Steve (39:11):

That’s correct. And so I think children and money is a very important thing to talk about, so I really think that would be a good one for you. My next book, I just am beginning. I don’t have the energy right now. It takes me years to recover from each book.

Dr. Sarah (39:30):

I believe it.

Steve (39:31):

No, it does. It’s such a lonely, angst ridden pursuit. You spend months and months alone in a room. But the title I think is going to be How Love Is Made, and the thesis is that we counterintuitively, it’s not that we sacrifice for people because we love them. My perspective is we love them because we sacrifice for them. And when you live that way, that really, really changes everything. When you adopt a worldview, a point of view, a soul that affirms we receive by giving, it changes everything.

Dr. Sarah (40:32):

I can only imagine how that applies to parental burnout and parental the resentment load of parenthood and like, oh, we definitely, you have to come back and talk about this because I think there’s a very, I’ll give you a couple years.

Steve (40:51):

The only thing I can do, but the love thing, I’m just starting to, it’s embryonic.

Dr. Sarah (40:56):

It’s percolating. Got it, got it. Well, this has been unbelievable. I’m so glad, and I am grateful for all of your time. And if people want to learn more about your books, where can they find them? Where can they connect?

Steve (41:13):

The books are all on Amazon and Barnes and Noble and in bookstores, if any bookstores exist where your listeners live any longer. And most of my social media efforts, really, frankly, the only one I pay any attention to is Instagram. And I’m @steve_leder, so you can get a lot there on Instagram. Go to Amazon, find the books, and I’m really, really grateful for the opportunity to talk with you. And I want to say something to you, therapy really saved my life and what you’re doing. It is sacred and it is a holy profession. And I don’t know that you get thanked as profoundly and frequently as you should. So I want to thank you for everything you do to make people’s lives more meaningful and beautiful. I really mean that.

Dr. Sarah (42:13):

I’m so grateful. Thank you. And I’m really grateful to you even just obviously, for sharing all of this incredible wisdom, but for sharing this personal piece too, because I think, like you said, I mean, you have not been shy about it. You’re going on the Today Show, but I think that people need to hear it, that it’s not a secret, shameful thing that should be in the shadows. It’s frankly much like grief. If we shine a light on it, if we embrace the reality, whether it’s anxiety, depression, or something more temporary or conditional like grief, they’re all the same. They’re feelings.

Steve (43:02):

And if we can talk about it, we can manage it.

Dr. Sarah (43:08):

And when you stick your arm out, when you’re floating in that wave, guess what? There’s so many people to connect with, right? You’re not alone in that.

Steve (43:18):

And some people will let you down, and that too is one of the beautiful parts of suffering. You really find out who your friends are and find out who’s not your friend. And when you’re suffering the people who really matter, they don’t mind, and the people who mind, they don’t matter.

Dr. Sarah (43:44):

Yeah, that’s very true and good to remember.

Steve (43:48):


Dr. Sarah (43:50):

Yeah. Thank you so much.

Steve (43:53):

Great to talk with you, and please reach out anytime I can be helpful. Okay.

Dr. Sarah (43:56):I would love that. I would love that. If you enjoyed listening to this conversation, I want to hear from you, share your thoughts and your feedback with me by scrolling down to the ratings and review section on your Apple Podcasts app or whatever app you’re listening on. And let me know what you think of this episode or the show in general. Your support means the absolute world to me, and just a simple tap of five stars can make a real impact in how the show gets reached by parents everywhere. So thank you so much for listening, and don’t be a stranger.

194. Confronting death to find a deeper meaning in life: A continuation of my conversation with Rabbi Steve Leder