There are two very important pieces of liturgy that we use to remember our loved ones. The first is the El Malei prayer, which asks us to imagine as if the holy one has enormous wings and asks us to imagine that the souls of our loved ones are tucked in tight under one of those wings, and that God is sheltering them and taking care of them in their last part of their journey.
And then of course, there are the words of the Kaddish prayer, which do not speak of death or loss, but ask us to give thanks to God simply for the gift of life and to acknowledge the greatness of all of the wonder and miracle that we experience in life. Not simply with our loved ones, but also just each and every day with each and every breath. And sometimes in those moments of loss, it’s so difficult to see that there is still light in the universe, to see that there is still hope as we move forward. And Kaddish is a way for us, not only to sanctify the memories of those that we’ve lost, but also to find our way towards light in the darkness.