Today is the third Sunday of Advent. The third candle stands for joy.
Tonight I will light that candle with a trembling hand and a broken heart. My young friend died last Sunday night by his own hand.
There’s no joy in that. There’s no joy for his mother. There’s no joy for his friends.
Still, we will light the candle. We must. We must face the darkness. We must lift up our hearts.
I met him when he was just a wee babe. His adoptive father and mother beamed, more radiant than the sun. Their newborn son was golden.
I baptized him. I watched him grow. I watched him blossom.
He was the darling of our church.
He squirmed on the pew Sunday after Sunday between his proud mother and father. He looked up to them. His heroes.
His father sang in the choir. The boy watched, proud of his daddy.
And then out of the blue, a crash. His father died. No warning. No goodbyes.
My young friend was five years old. I stood beside him at his father’s grave.
There’s no joy in that.
My young friend made his way. Somehow. He sang in the choir. Like his father. He charmed the ladies of the church. Like his father.
He graduated. He found a job. He fell in love. The future was wide open.
And then this.
In the beginning darkness covered the face of the deep. And God said, Let there be light. And there was light. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “Day” and the darkness “Night.”
God did not eliminate darkness from the world. God named it. And sometimes that’s all we can do. We name the darkness and let it be. For out of the darkness life arises. Time and time again.
In the meantime, we light the candles of faith, hope, and joy. And next Sunday, the candle of peace.
Advent is a season of darkness. It’s a time to sit in solidarity with all who sit in darkness. We face it together. We long for the sun’s return.
When my friend was just a child, he stood with me in the chancel of the church and lit the candles on the Advent wreath. One by one.
Beyond the dark night of his soul I believe my young friend saw a light.
See Paula’s floral design on the home page.
I woke this morning before the sun would break the darkness, and read your heartfelt tribute to our dear friend and his mother. Outside my window an owl hooted. Over and over, the sound of sorrow caught in its throat. And mine. I moved to another room, turned on the Christmas tree lights. The owl was gone, but not my tears. And now, in the early light of a cold December morning, all I can say is, Thank you, Dianne, for all your many gifts, all the wonderful nurturing you gave to your beautiful son and the time we had with him.
What a time to suffer such a tragedy, when we can’t all get together and share both our grief and our wonderful remembrances of such a life as has just gone from us. But we did have a consoling virtual get-together to reminisce about Jay, which was en-couraging and helpful. Thanks to all those who were able to take part and help fill in the picture of this wonderful human being. Personally, I think Godself just doesn’t understand that we Boomers need all the computer help we can get, and we just lost a real whiz at such things. Rest in the Peace that we all seek in our multifarious ways.
Out of the darkness, over & over again, the light returns…may the comfort of memories shared, grief shared, warm all who have loved – thank you for putting into words the story of a life lived, in sorrow and in beauty, in despair and in hope, this lite of love shows the way…this poignant advent like none other – blessed be.
Dear Jay was in our Christmas pageant many years ago. He was a bit of a spoiled brat, so cute he had to be spoiled. But he grew up to be a loving Teddy bear who was a great hugger. My heart is broken, as are the hearts of many, that this was the only way to take away his pain. He touched our lives. I pray for his mother. I pray for him. I pray for us.
I am feeling the pain of this young life lost and the shared tears of all who knew and loved him and his family. It is so hard to not be able to physically gather and wrap your arms around each other. I know from my own experience this year that phone calls, (just leave a message), texts, emails, and meals, treats left on one’s doorstep are truly manifestations of God’s love and Grace. It can make a huge difference in knowing one does not walk alone in the darkness.
I didn’t know your young friend, yet I still keenly feel your loss. The loss of a child, no matter what their age, is a crushing blow that defies words. I call it “The Big Empty.” That’s as close as I can come to defining it. The loss of a child isn’t something a parent ever gets over. One simply gets gets used to it; call it acceptance, but that word doesn’t describe it either. Every Christmas I too light a special candle, not only for my lost daughter, but also for myself, and all of the other parents and their children, who moved on before them. We now see and share these precious ones in everything we do. Live on, brightly!
Martha and I had Jay in our Sunday School Kindergarten class. We watched him grow and become a questioning and fun-filled youth. My heart and my prayers go out to Jay in Heaven and to Dianne here in our church family!
There’s a hollow ache in my stomach, tears well up and I don’t have words to explain or console anyone, especially Dianne. I know our Great Spirit, Mother Earth and Holy Ancestors will nurture and support Dianne, but grief is heavy and long. Virtual hugs are not enough. I love you Dianne.
Although I have always been of the belief that God knows our time and the hairs of our head are numbered, this one came from left field and I’m not sure when I have been so sad. I really have no words but… I feel blessed to have grown up with Jay, through church and his association with Joe. H Love, prayers and hugs to his always supportive mom. Dianne, you couldn’t have been a better mom.❤️
With great sorrow, I echo all shared above. I, too, remember Jay, a beautiful child and curious teen, whose smile and hugs could warm any heart. May Diane be wrapped in the all the love, joy, and hugs Jay shared with each of us.
At times like this, our broken hearts grieve for the one we have lost and for those left behind. We ask ourselves “Why?” and try to make sense of it. When no such answer can be found, please don’t judge or make assumptions. Rather, open your heart and embrace the fact that there is pain and suffering beyond your knowing, beyond your understanding. Let that be your answer, and let it fill you with compassion. May the love and compassion of God be with you always.