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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Week Long Shiva Candle

One more heavy post about my Grandma Pauline. I wrote this while at my conference a few weeks ago and never published it.

My shiva candle burned for a week. It's my third shiva candle (this is my last of my three maternal grandparents) and I have learned how symbolic the candle is representing the time we need to mourn and reflect. Hoping to watch the candle burn to the end (or at least be there for the flicker to go out), so I can go on to the next phase of mourning, but instead, in this case, reminded me of sitting on grandma's bedside wondering if it would be with her, her last breath. Would I be present for the last flicker to burnout?

Just, like I had to leave hospice to go back to my kids, I had to leave the candle a night early to get to a conference required by Florida to keep our license. We had signed up for it months before knowing we had to be there. Or else. For me it was hard to leave my personal shiva space that I created in my bedroom and go on while the candle continued to burn.

The previous times, I burned a shiva candle, I felt a sense of responsibility of being present to respect the shiva space and for the memory of my grandparents' soul. It was frustrating for me not to be able to be present for Grandma Pauline's candle to go out.

What made me decide to come back to this post tonight is what Scott said to me.

He said in my absence, he was watching the candle burn. He "told" the candle that he promises to tell his children and grandchildren about Grandma Pauline. Then the candle went out and was done burning. He said it was like grandma was telling him that she understood.
With some rituals we wonder why we do it. We just do it. In the end, we find meaning. Sometimes you never find the meaning, but the symbolism and meaning was clearly there this time. If I couldn't be there, I am glad Scott was. It gave me a feeling of resolution. I can only imagine how Blessed Scott is.

2 comments:

fitncrafty said...

Thank you for sharing this...it has helped me in my own grieving process. Also, I am very proud of the young man that Scott is growing up to be... as you should be too..
Love you guys!

Permission to Mother said...

I'm glad this helps you...

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