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Regarding your experience while sitting shiva, it is integral for Klal Yisrael to be sensitive toward others who are in great pain for various reasons.

Whether it is someone sitting shiva for a son who was killed while driving (I mentioned in the original column that the grieving parents were told, insensitively and ridiculously, that “your son should not have been driving”); or someone sitting shiva for a child who was the victim of a drug overdose; or a woman struggling with fertility who is subjected to staring by people who erroneously conclude that she is pregnant because of her obvious weight gain (as opposed to the reality that she gained weight as a result of the fertility treatment she is undergoing) – the universal message is this: think before you speak!

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My heart goes out to you for the pain you’ve endured. I hope that your well-written letter will propel people to think before they consider saying hurtful or inappropriate things to others. Hatzlachah as you raise your beautiful family, and may Hashem continue to shower you with only simcha and nachas!

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Dr. Yael Respler is a psychotherapist in private practice who provides marital, dating and family counseling. Dr. Respler also deals with problems relating to marital intimacy. Letters may be emailed to deardryael@aol.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Orit Respler-Herman, a child psychologist, co-authors this column and is now in private practice providing complete pychological evaluations as well as child and adolescent therapy. She can be reached at 917-679-1612. Previous columns can be viewed at www.jewishpress.com and archives of Dr. Respler’s radio shows can be found at www.dryaelrespler.com.