Friday, December 19, 2008

remembering

We sat while they flickered, one candle for every death this year. We honor those we've lost every year in a ceremony with folks from all walks of life but mostly we do it because it gives those who lost a friend to the streets a place to mourn. We had more candles this year than last, more than the year before that. The table was full and they all flickered seperately almost as if each soul was right there telling us what they thought. More than 100 people came to pay their respects and in that moment like in so many moments all that mattered was this one thing.

But after it's over it's back to business, folks who came for the service climbed back in their cars but the ones who stay went back to their usual spots, wondering I am sure if one day they will have a candle too.

I remember the first year we did this, ten years ago now. I'd lost someone then, someone I'd loved who had nothing and no one to claim him and my inquiries fell on deaf ears because there was no one listening anyways There's no one to call. But that's okay because you are all my family now. But from his passing a tradition was born, one that honors in sadness so many each year but started because of him and because he mattered so much. So no matter what a part of me is with him on this day, I always picture him looking down on us and saying all that fuss because of me?

To which I say Yes Bob, all this fuss is because of you. And to everyone who has come since.

I still miss you, my friend.


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13 comments:

Amy Y said...

I'm sorry :(

Jennifer said...

What a beautiful tradition and a beautiful way of honoring your friend. There is something so powerful about simply lighting a candle, with a specific purpose. There are times we can't do much, but we do...something...and something turns into Something That Is Enough.

Omaha Mama said...

This made me cry. Especially when I read the post about your friend. I can imagine how beautiful all of those candles are. It is a great way to remember those who have passed on.

Anjali said...

This is unbelievably touching. What a wonderful memorial.

flutter said...

namaste, beautiful jen

Gwen said...

thanks for making me cry first thing this morning.

what a lovely and meaningful tradition and so touching that even those society pretends to forget are remembered.

Indigo said...

Words fail in light of the beauty you display in honoring him. I went and read the post you did on Bob. He had an amazing spirit. (Hugs)Indigo

alejna said...

Oh, Jen. What a beautiful tradition. But how sad that there are so many candles.

I was very moved by your post about your friend Bob. He sounds like a remarkable man. It makes me glad that you honor his memory in this way. Especially knowing that his family probably do not.

painted maypole said...

we do a service at our church for All Saints Day (Nov 1st) and we put pictures on the screens of all the friends and family we've lost in the past year. I had to sing while the pictures were going and i could.not.look.at.them.

QT said...

It is strange to read this because i was just thinking the other day of the tree guy (for lack of a better description).These stories stay with us, and the people you talk about get remembered in little ways all the time, jen. xo

patches said...

People deserve dignity and acknowledgment, and this kind tradition succeeds in granting both.

Defiantmuse said...

I'm not a sentimental person. And I rarely cry. But reading the post about your friend made me get all teary. Beautiful, dude. He was lucky to have you in his life at the end. I'm sure your love helped him.

Magpie said...

That made me all weepy. Lovely. Really.