Yahrzeit

The first year after Eric died I noted the anniversary of his death three times — on the actual day (first Sunday in May), the Roman calendar date, and the Jewish calendar date — the yahrzeit (Hebrew for ”
time of year”).   It was grueling, three days to think about him having been gone a year.  “No more triple anniversaries,” I told myself, or “deathaversaries” as Adrienne calls them.

But here I am, burning a yahrzeit candle today, on the Jewish calendar anniversary.  And I’m very aware that this year Sunday is May 6 and I’ll think about that being the day of the week Eric died.  And then the next day is May 7, the actual common calendar date of his death.

All this awareness is only heightened by the fact that I’m doing readings from The Truth About Death.  Several people at the book launch last week at Gibson’s in Concord (smashing success, with 83 people there and many many books sold, check out the photos) told me how nice it was for them to remember Eric and feel like he was there in the room.  He’s here, as everyone we’ve ever loved is with us in our hearts, but he’s also really really not here.

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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One Response to Yahrzeit

  1. Lisa I Whittemore says:

    So beautifully said, Grace. You live up to your name – by bringing a sense of grace to us. Lisa

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