Today is the anniversary of my mother’s death. I’ll light a memorial candle that will flicker for 24 hours, and go to services to say the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer of mourning. We’re only allowed to say this prayer in a gathering of at least 10 adults, also known as a minyan, which is a wonderful idea, really, that guarantees we’ll be surrounded by community at a difficult time. I love saying the Kaddish. It’s got a primal cadence to it that comforts me. I watched my parents and grandparents light these candles and say these prayers, and when I do these things, I feel connected to them. This is ritual at its best, providing a mooring for grief and remembrance. My mother always wanted me to call her more often. For the next 24 hours, we’ll be chatting.
Artwork by Javier Jaén Benavides