The End of an Era

Light A Crying Candle
author unknown (by me anyways)

Light a candle and stay with it until the last flame flickers out. If you have suffered but a minor annoyance, you may find a left-over birthday candle to be just the right size. If you have suffered a great blow, you may need to seek out a large candle that will burn for many, many hours. Perhaps you will need a candle so big, you will need to light it every night for a week or a month or even a year or more. As the candle burns, you are asked to do only one thing. Feel.

Grief, anger, sadness, shame, embarrassment, fear.

Emotions will leap at you from the burning wick, but watch out. Nipping hungrily at the heart of the flame's blue palette will be an orange lick, chiding you for sitting still in your puddle of feelings instead of swinging into action. You ought to be implementing some plan for recovery. Weighing the possibilities. Making amends of taking retribution. But resilience cannot be birthed through busy little projects. Of course you would like to get on with things as quickly as possible. Buttress your life structure over again, throw up the scaffolding, plaster the cracks. As the blue-and-orange flame licks at the melting wax, a hundred times, you tell yourself you've indulged your anger and grief long enough. Shake it off and get on with it already.
But the emotions you are experiencing are not your obstacles to recovery. Don't you see? At this, the point of impact, they are the very means of your deliverance.

Only your tears contain sufficient power to tear down the battered remains of the structures that could not hold their own against what has happened. Be grateful for your tears of anger and grief, which keep you from rising too quickly to the occasion. Rather, mired in the straw and mud of true emotion, you confront loss, humiliation, powerlessness, uncertainty, mortality. You cannot rebuild the old structure stronger than it was, unless these bricks, too, are laid into the foundation. Leave any one of these out, and you will sway precariously to and fro with every breeze that blows. But build your life structure upon the truth of the human condition, and you will withstand anything that fate sends its way.

I knew the day would come when Kenna's Candle finally burned itself down. The purple candle we lit at her memorial service (see video) has become nothing more than a wickless shell.

Although melting the remaining wax down and re-wicking has been discussed, for now I will miss "her" smell when I come into my kitchen.


Meredith said...

Heidi, I'm crying for you now, and I'm praying for you and your dear family. Though I don't know your hurt in a personal way, I feel a deep sadness as I view that video. Thanks for sharing it.

I have a friend who is facing a rare, risky twin pregnancy right now. Could you pray for her and her two girls, now at 20 weeks? Thank you.

Rachel said...

Heidi - I have yet to do this, but want to. Hard to find the time to just sit and feel these days.

I sure enjoyed our visit and will see you on the 18th.