Waiting for the Light

November 10, 2022

Waiting for the Light this Holiday Season

A few years ago, my family went on a trip to Florida just weeks after my beloved grandma died. Arriving in Florida we learned of a scheduled NASA shuttle launch, which sounded like the perfect way to start a vacation. Unfortunately, we never made it to the beach that night because we were too tired from the day’s travels. Lucky for us, conditions weren’t quite right, the launch was cancelled and rescheduled for a few days later. I was determined to make it down to the beach to witness this once in a lifetime event. My family set their alarms and drifted off to sleep, while I settled in, turned on the light, and read my book. I didn’t want to chance missing this.

As the time approached, I woke my husband who wrapped our sleepy daughter in a blanket. My teenage son, shoed me off opting to stay in bed. The three of us walked a few blocks and saw silhouettes of people on the dark beach. We weren’t quite sure what way to look so we took the lead from others, positioned our bodies in the same direction, and waited. I kept watch looking deep into the darkness, almost begging the light to come. Moments later, over 20 miles away, it happened. First, we heard it, and then we saw the sky light up. Within minutes two boosters fell from the sky to the water below looking like balls of fire. Amazing! Thinking it was over, we began to head for home but were encouraged by those on the beach to stay. Wait, they said. There is still more to see. Again, we waited in the dark and silence. After what felt like a long time, a final booster came down, again lighting the sky. When light wasn’t in our sight, hope and connection, invited us to trust that darkness wasn’t the end of the story.

At this time of the year in Wisconsin, our days get shorter and bring darkness earlier. For those who are grieving, it may feel like that darkness is seeping into the corners of our hearts. Darkness, like grief, is different for each of us, but none of us are alone. I imagine us on that dark beach together waiting for the light. None of us too sure where to look or what will come next but holding on to the hope that light will come. For those who are weary and haven’t quite made it to the beach, may you hear stories of light and share in the light that others have seen. May others hold the light for you, until you can hold it for yourself. When the light comes, no matter how small, may you welcome it in and hold it close. While it may not be everything, may it be enough for this moment and may it carry you into the next.


Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash

Honor a Life Holiday Gathering

Unity invites you to join us an evening of light, reflection, and music as we gather to remember loved ones this holiday season. Visit Honor a Life for more information on Unity’s 8th Annual Honor a Life Holiday Gathering.

Holiday Grief Support

The holidays can be difficult after experiencing a death. Unity’s grief programs support the family and friends of Unity patients, as well as all members of the community. Experienced Grief Counselors and trained volunteers create a safe haven to learn about grief, share experiences and find hope. Generous donations allow Unity to offer compassionate grief support at no charge. To learn more about the support provided, visit Unity Grief and Education Center or contact us.

Should you find yourself looking for grief support and are open to connecting with a Unity Grief Counselor, please contact Unity Grief and Education Center at (920) 339-6700.

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