Episode 93

A Life After Death – Part I

  • 30:29
  • 2023
On a warm winter day in February 2018, Gal Zaychner’s worst nightmare came true: Her 11-month-old son, Noah, didn’t wake up from his naptime.
A Life After Death – Part I

In a series of heartwrenching essays, told over the course of two episodes, Gal Zaychner returns to the most painful period of her life. “There are moments in life,” she writes, “in which we think about worst-case-scenarios: About loss, about disasters, about the most terrible what-ifs. We think about how we would act. How we would cope. Then, we try to push these thoughts away, because we want to make sure they don’t – simply by lingering in our head for too long – somehow become part of our reality.” But Gal no longer has the privilege of pushing such thoughts away. For her, they are life itself.

Our episode tells the tragic story of a victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Please take that into account when deciding whether to continue listening.

Act I: The Day It Happened

Gal Zaychner

The day Noah died started off pretty well. Nothing prepared Gal for the tragedy that was about to alter her life forever. At 3:36pm, as she was typing away on her computer, her cell phone rang. Her son’s kindergarten teacher was on the other end of the line. “Gal,” she said in a hysterical voice, “come quick. Noah isn’t waking up.”

Act II: The Morning After

Gal Zaychner

In the days and weeks following Noah’s death, Gal understands that everything – literally everything – is different now. And yet she is determined to continue living. Not to fall apart. She is, she decides, a ninja.


Nicole Raviv read Gal Zaychner’s essays, which were first published in Haaretz, and were then translated by Mitch Ginsburg. The episode was recorded at Nomi Studios, and was mixed by Sela Waisblum. Zev Levi scored and sound designed it with music from Blue Dot Sessions. Thanks to Alma Elliott Hoffman, Ross Bordow and Gideon Bialkin.

The end song is Shir Lelo Shem (“Song With No Name”), which was written and arranged by Shalom Hanoch, and sung by Yehudit Ravitz.