There have been days in my life when I’ve known deep in my bones about the truth of the phrase: the morning after. This morning is one for all of us. Yesterday’s Solstice marked the longest night of the year. It is one 24-hour period of time when nature shows us what grief might physically look like. More dark than light. The longest night comes to us during Advent, during our season of waiting. The longest night comes when we are remembering God’s promise of Emmanuel, of God’s ageless promise to be with us. Always.
I remember the morning after we found out that mom had lung cancer. I remember knowing that the world would never be the same. I remember that the life I knew had shifted. I knew that morning that this was a life-moment for our family. And I remember seeking out the light. Any light. The sun or the moon or a single candle.
And now with the coming of this Friday morning, it is up to us to accept our gift: More Light is Coming.
What does that mean for us? Perhaps it’s as simple as each day growing a little lighter. Perhaps these words can bring comfort to those of us who are grieving in these December days. Perhaps with this invitation we can breathe a little deeper and live into our hope of healing. Perhaps these words can bring an assurance that shifts can and do happen all around us; those shifts of the comfort that comes when pain begins to ease. Perhaps…What will this mean for us as we live in and through this day? Perhaps these words can even bring us home again.
Yesterday's Winter Solstice, the longest night has come and gone. This morning brings a possibility of a new shift for us all.. More light is coming.
In my heart of hearts I believe that with light comes hope. Light brings the possibility that now we may be able to see a little better for a little bit longer. Perhaps what is all around us won’t feel so dark.
This grief we are feeling will be carried for the rest of our lives. Sometimes it will feel lighter, perhaps sometimes heavier. Sometimes it is almost as if our grief becomes our companion, walking beside us and guiding us at times.
Our journey to Bethlehem continues. We are still on the path. We continue watching the stars overhead, listening for encouragement along the way. This is an intentional time and it matters that we take tender care of ourselves and one another. What I’ve learned along the way about grief and about this morning after is that light does return. We can see a little bit further today than we could yesterday. And with grace, our grief gets softer.
Working in Family Experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan (now a freshman at Guilford College) and Sam at sophomore at DHS in Decatur, GA.