The verse states, ‘On my bed at night I sought my beloved, I sought him and found him not’. The verse refers to a person’s situation in the grave as ‘night’. As long as a person is alive, he continually seeks his material comforts, ignoring his spiritual needs. When the spirit finally separates from the body it starts thinking about its future and how it will stand before the Divine Tribunal, and it then starts longing for its soul mate, Torah and mitzvas. Unfortunately it is already too late, for even mitzvas that are performed by thought alone can be done only when a person is alive, and the soul’s pain from the irretrievable loss is inconceivable.
With some forethought this terrible suffering can be avoided, by setting aside a daily learning schedule.