JJ told me, from experience, that more people die in the winter. Some think it’s a connection to the holidays; others tie it to being indoors with our germs more. In any case, winter is the funeral home “busy season.” 

I’m sad that a few people close to me will be ushering in the winter with trips to the funeral home. Over the past week I’ve watched and listened and prayed as these people I care for say goodbyes to women – mothers, sisters, friends – that have left the earth “too early” as the sentiment goes. Both of these women left behind very young children to grow up to know their mother’s love translated only through the voices of others. 
The entire experience of the grief around me leaves me paralyzed, often feeling powerless. What exactly can be said in such sad situations? How does one express sympathy, empathize with the hurt that others feel? How do I show love without being contrite, insensitive with corny sayings that makes only the sayer, not the hearer, feel better? 
After dropping off H boy at school this morning, one of my favorite DC*B songs came on, to which they made a video a year or so ago. As I was crying driving through it, I pondered the depths of his wisdom. 
The song came to mind because I knew the video told the story that these families are experiencing; but it also sang to me and my calling in the situation: to shine whatever light I have. 
Winter covers us in darkness; we hunker down and try to stay warm, allowing the early and long nights to keep us separated from others. I find it no coincidence that the Church has chosen to celebrate the coming of Christ amid the darkness by using the symbols of stars and light. That’s what following Jesus is all about, right? Holding something up so that, when others cannot see – when the darkness overcomes, when the grief and pain blindfolds us – perhaps the light we carry will be enough to help them take the next step. To face the next day. Or even just the next hour. 
Shine your light so that all can see it, lift it up ’cause the whole world needs it; love has come what joy to hear it- He has overcome, He has overcome
Full lyrics to SMS Shine
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