Letting the Candles Burn Down

Jacqueline Dooley
5 min readMar 1, 2019

The candles helped me realize that I was stuck. They weren’t waiting for my daughter to come back. I was.

A candle burns for my daughter on a makeshift altar — photo by author

At the start of autumn, we welcomed the holiday season with rituals focused on light and fire. From glowing Jack-o-lanterns and bonfires in October to festive string lights, twinkling Christmas trees, menorahs, and wood stoves in November and December, we bring the light inward when there is less light…

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Jacqueline Dooley

Essayist, content writer, bereaved parent. Bylines: Human Parts, GEN, Marker, OneZero, Washington Post, Al Jazeera, Pulse, HuffPost, Longreads, Modern Loss