Judaism has a tradition that on the anniversary of a loved ones death, one lights a candle (known as a Yahrzeit candle). Since it's a tradition, there are no laws associated with it, so each person chooses their own time to light a candle. Yahrzeit candles are designed to burn for 24 hours so that they will be lit during the day of morning.
I have a yahrzeit candle burning in my office today, because today would have been my father's 71st birthday, he died six weeks ago on August 14th (of complications related to a bee sting, go figure).
I've avoided writing about it because I've not really known how to express the loss (beyond saying "it sucks"), and I'm not really into public grieving, but I feel it's important to say something right now.
I truly miss my father - we didn't talk much beyond holidays, but it doesn't matter - knowing I could always call him up was enough. And now I can no longer do that.
It's wierd. After a death, you go on with your life and everything's just fine, and all of a sudden, the loss really hits home, usually when you don't expect it. I totally lost it a couple of weeks ago when watching "The Sound of Music" when Christopher Plummer started singing "Edelweiss" (my sister-in-law sang it at Dad's funeral). Similarly, on Saturday night, while watching "The King and I", I totally lost it at the end - I usually cry at the sad parts of musicals, but this one was personal. I relate to Prince Chulalongkorn at a totally different level now.
So much of who I am comes from my father - we were so much in common. There's no question that I got my love for the stage (musicals in particular) from him, and also my interest in photography.
I so miss the ability to talk with him about whatever - the law, tech, shows - it didn't seem to matter, Dad knew about everything.
I have so many wonderful memories of Dad, and I regret that I won't be able to make any new ones.
So Happy Birthday, Dad. I miss you.