When someone dies, a world of choices dies with him.

A world of small and big changes that would have happened within her over time.

A world of shifts and growth and transformational moments, and the kind of daily joys and sorrows that leave people’s faces wrinkled and their hearts, at times, too wise.

We look at the pictures of the fallen, and we see them as they were.

But no one will ever see them wrinkled and changed. No one will ever know how the passage of time would have altered them, and how they, in turn, would have affected the world.

The Hebrew word we use to describe our fallen soldiers – “challal” – means “space.”

One day, there was a person here. And that person had a future and potential and many possible experiences to explore and shape.

Now, there’s empty space.

(Image by Moshe Milner, via The Government Press Office)