Burning candles from Dec 1-5 in memory of my husband as darkness closes in & i prepare for solstice. ” There is no birth, there is no death; there is no coming, there is no going; there is no same, there is no different; there is no permanent self, there is no annihilation. We only think there is.” THICH NHAT HANH, No Death, No Fear #widow #grief
Today, I decided to light a candle in memory of my husband. I will burn the candle each of the first 5 days of December which lead up to his birthday and our anniversary. I’ve never lit a candle in memory of someone before. I never really understood it before I did it, today. But, I’m starting to get it.
I think most folks light a solitary candle. But, I bought two along with a mirrored plate on which to place them. I’m glad I bought two because it offered both my son and me a candle to light. As I lit the first candle, my son questioned the purpose. So, I explained it was a way to remember his father. He lit the second and it gave us a chance to talk cheerfully about Daddy.
The second thing I noticed was the warmth. Years ago, shortly after becoming a widow, I stood in my kitchen staring out the window when I felt the warmth of a person standing next to me. For one fleeting moment, a rush of joy I wouldn’t trade for the world. It felt like the thousands of times I had stood with him there messing about the kitchen. It was actually the steam rising out of the dishwasher on dry cycle. But, that short instance of warmth also comes with the candles as I brush by, reaching over and around them, sitting near them.
The third reason to light a candle is the visual presence. I left the candles burning on the kitchen counter while I faced away, hand washing dishes at the sink and tidying up. With every glimpse from the corner of my eye, every turn, every look…. I’m reminded that there is no separation. He is here, living within us as he always has and always will. It’s easy to forget how deeply connected and bonded we are. The flickering light reminds that we are all made of the same stuff… And no matter what form we take, there is nothing that changes that….
” There is no birth, there is no death; there is no coming, there is no going; there is no same, there is no different; there is no permanent self, there is no annihilation. We only think there is.” THICH NHAT HANH, No Death, No Fear
Day 2 lighting candles in honor of my husband’s spirit as our man made calendar approaches his birthday, our anniversary, and the darkness deepens on earth’s journey toward solstice. If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people. Thich Nhat Hanh (is scientific fact). #widow #grief #griefsupport #widows
I lit the candles for company this morning, which is interesting because it suggests that yesterday’s experience has encouraged me to view the light as a being. In a sense, it is true. It is energy. It gives warmth. Fire is one of the essential components to improving human quality of life throughout our history. It is fitting because my experience with Dave improved my life immeasurably.
I relit the candles this evening. They burned long this afternoon, slowly fusing together by the melting wax. This is appropriate as I feel more connected to my husband than I have in years since his passing. I feel the way he looked at me, the way he cared for me, the way he accepted me… The way he went above and beyond everyday to conquer his demons and move forward with me in peace, freedom, and unconditional love. I feel it now as I did then, just as strong as ever as I am reminded by this light that some bonds simply do not break.
I light these candles in communion with my late husband for the third day. As long as I walk this earth, I will tend our fire for warmth, for energy, for life, forever. The deepest level of communication is not communication, but communion. It is wordless … beyond speech … beyond concept. – Thomas Merton #griefsupport #grief #widow
Day 3 I know I cannot rely on these two small flames as a reliable heat source for my whole body. However, as I sat in the cold of morning, it occurred to me to light these candles as a heat source. I can slowly wave my hands over the flames and heat them up. It helps, but it’s not enough. We are each others flames, but we must fuel a bigger fire for a true source of heat against the cold. There must be an eternal fuel source, and we must be prepared to offer relief to our partner, tending the fire alone. In fact, helping a partner prepare to tend the fire on their own is a top priority because it’s going to happen. I was prepared to tend the fire temporarily, not permanently. But, the most important thing was covered. I had an infinite supply of fuel: unquestionable freedom & unconditional love… It takes practice to use it wisely.
Day 4, I light these candles in communion with my late husband. Life as a widow is a bitter sweet journey. When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the soul laughs for what it has found. #grief #widow A photo posted by Candy Cook (@happytrailtales) on
The memorial candlelight lent a soothing glow to the evening. This experience has given me something I’ve missed for years… I am unsure of my ability to accurately capture this in words. But, after a busy & exciting day, I came home to the same sweet love that kept me afloat throughout the turbulence we faced together as a couple. It’s easy to think I’ve lost something because I miss his physical presence in that familiar form that hugged me tight and held me close. But, it’s still there, every moment and I continue to learn and grow as a person from our life together. David once told me, that I had truly become part of him. I don’t think I fully understood the meaning of that until he died.
When the heart weeps for what it has lost, the soul laughs for what it has found.
Tonight marks my late husband’s birthday & our anniversary. I can say I’m truly grateful for all of it.. beginning to beyond – and with that I leave you with the truest words I’ve ever heard, straight from my husband. Freedom and unconditional love are the only assets worth keeping. I may not be rich. But, I’m a very wealthy being. -David Cook #grief #widow