Saturday evening, I stood on the cold dark grounds of Oleander Memorial Gardens for my second candle light service, and I realized one thing, you are never as alone as you think you are. So many families, so many fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, all there to pay respect and to remember their love ones. There was a wonderful speaker that spoke on Christmas being the most wonderful time of the year, but for most of us standing there it is not a wonderful time. He spoke about the empty chair at the table and how we will never get over the fact we are missing someone at Christmas. He continued to remind us it is okay to grieve at Christmas, we don’t have to constantly have a smile on our face, even though most expect us to. He ended with how we can try to use the memories of Christmas’s past to celebrate the loved one lost and honor their lives. There were traditional Christmas songs played and sung by the families as they sat in the cold misting rain. With each song my mind would drift to years ago, when Jarrett and Lindsay sang these songs for Christmas plays in church and at school. Maybe it was Lindsay reminding me to always keep those memories close. As the last song of the evening began, the music was very recognizable, it was “Silent Night”, how appropriate. So many of us experience that silent night, the time when all is quite and the only thought’s you have are of fear, grief, and the cold loneliness in your heart. As the last words were sang and the last candle was lite I could fell the cold loneliness melting away by the flame of a candle that will forever burn in my heart.
Candle to candle, the flame was passed from one person to another, almost as if we were all a part of one large family. I could see the area in which we were all standing begin to brighten with light. Each candle and it’s small light bring forth faith, love and remembrance. The faith we have that one day we will see our loved one again. The love we have for that departed family member and the memories that will forever be carried on in our hearts. Some candles burn brighter, and some burn much longer. No matter the brightness or the longevity, each and every candle represents a light that once shined bright in this world. A light that possibly brought a smile to someone’s face, dried a tear from a sadden eye, healed a heart with words of love and serenity, or carried the light of the world in their eyes. Each candle burned for lost love ones and for the love that still burns in each heart. Each candle burned for love ones and the never ending light they have left behind.