Though sorrow lingers, I have learned that love is stronger than death. Though my loved one is beyond my sight, I do not despair for I sense my beloved in my heart as a living presence.
-- selection from the Mourner’s Kaddish
As a Unitarian-Universalist, my faith-practice calls me to seek inspiration throughout the world of human experience. A year after my mother died, a Jewish friend told me about the yahrzeit candle, a 24-hour flame that is lit at sunset on the eve of the anniversary of the death of a loved one, especially parents. Today marks seven years since I lost my mom, and the daylong candle remains one of my favorite ways to quietly pay tribute to my mom, to my lingering sorrow, and to my gratitude for having had such an extraordinary person to love me for almost fifty-four years.
March 15th carries an additional weight of import that I didn’t recognize for several months after my mom’s death in 2014. Rachel Field, another woman who has become enormously significant in my life, took her last breath on March 15, 1942. Several years into researching and writing Rachel's biography, the discovery of that shared date shook me, then comforted me, somehow. The Ides of March hold layers of meaning for me that I may never fully understand, but I stop and take notice. I remember not to despair, for I can sense both beloved women in my heart as a living presence.
Robin Clifford Wood is a writer and writing teacher. She lives in central Maine with her husband and dogs, loves to be outdoors, and enjoys ever-expanding horizons through her grown children and their multi-species families.