Last week a good friend of mine lost a good friend. He was a relatively young man who cancer stole away. Away from his relatively new wife and a future many of us think, mistakenly, is guaranteed.
I didn’t know my friend’s friend, but I saw the sadness in his face as he told me the news. I recognised that sadness. As my friend shook his head and said, ‘last week we were talking together, now I’ll never see him again’, I remembered that realisation and the deep hurt it brings with it.
The following day was the funeral and my friend was very much on my mind. Saying goodbye is so hard, but there was nothing I could do to ease his pain or lessen the hurt.
I am a great woman for lighting candles!
Many years ago my father wrote an article, which was published after he died in a well known Sunday newspaper. The piece was titled ‘The light of one small candle’. Despite my fathers awful condition (he had motor neurone disease/ALS), he believed in hope, not the hope he would be cured, but hope that he’d continue to enjoy his family for a while longer, hope that his family would remain well and hope that we’d all be happy.
So last week I did for my friend the only thing I could, I went to a church and lit a candle. Just as I did almost every day while young Daniel was in hospital, or when young Ben was being treated in England, when a blogging friend recently told of how sick her little girl was, when a friend was going through a difficult time and as I did when I was in Donegal remembering my Dad.
I don’t believe my candles ask a God for help or cure, but I do believe their light, as it shines, symbolises hope. Each time I light one, that is what I wish for my friends. That they can see through the darkness they are experiencing, the light from that one small candle I’ve lit for them and know that despite the darkness there is hope.
For “All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle”. (St Francis of Assisi).