Light Bearers and Candle Snuffers

One of the rituals I observe when the time changes and night closes in so very early is to light a candle each evening in the dark.

I’ve done it for years but now as I do it, I think of Dominic.

It is my small way of declaring the truth that darkness will not win.

It’s my protest against despair and hopelessness that threatens to undo methreatens to undo ALL of us at one time or another.

Because when I sit in the circle of the glow of that single candle, I’m reminded that no matter how small the flame, darkness cannot overcome the light.

I’m reminded that I can be a light bearer or a candle snuffer.

candle and hand

I can help others find hope or I can douse the tiny flame that still burns in their troubled heart.

Dominic was a light bearer.

After his death, the University of Alabama newspaper, The Crimson and White ran an article that said in part:

“Dominic was always very mechanically inclined and sort of became the law school mechanic,” close friend and classmate Joe Heilman said. “We are all poor college kids, so when we had questions, we would always go to him. This year alone I think he worked on five different law students’ cars and wouldn’t let them give him any more money than what it cost to replace the part.”

Heilman said Dominic’s selflessness far surpassed that of most people.

“He was one of the most hospitable people that I had ever met,” Heilman said. “I don’t have Internet or cable at my apartment, and when he found that out, he handed me the extra key to his apartment, no questions asked, and just said, ‘Come over whenever.’”

“He was exactly the kind of friend that everyone wants to have and that everyone tries to be,” Jonathan Mayhall, another friend, said.

All my children are light bearers.

They bring light and life to everyone they meet.  They encourage, help and minister to the people in their lives.  They stop for strangers, buy meals for the homeless, show up when friends are moving and put people first.

I encourage you, friend, as these nights get longer and darkness seems so very present-light a candle.

Sit in the circle of its glow and think how bright that little light shines in the black around you.

And remember that we all have the power to be light bearers, no matter how dark the night.


Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

11 thoughts on “Light Bearers and Candle Snuffers”

  1. This touches my heart. My son I lost to car accident 03-17-16 age 19 was a genius mechanic and people always called him and he always helped and knew how to fix things. He had such a big heart too like your son. This made me cry but in a good way. I have been following you since you started your blog. Your Dominic was special I can tell. Thank you for all you do . Hugs and Prayers .

    Liked by 1 person

  2. November is our bittersweet month – John Paul Shepherd was born November 4, 1990 and went Home November 12, 2015 – in October of that year, we had just purchased a Yankee Candle in the (then) new fragrance of November Rain – it burned the entire month of November that year and every year since then – Put a new one on the table in the wee hours of the first morning this month – what amazes me most is how much the fragrance actually smells just like him after a fresh shower and his aftershave/cologne — stirs our emotions and brings a smile to our souls 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Such a beautiful tradition! I’m sorry your son is not here to enjoy it with you but thankful you have found a way to honor him. May the Lord lift you up in this month of remembrance and may He give you strength to endure until your faith is sight. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh Melanie I am so grateful our paths have crossed. It is so wonderful to hear from someone who understands our pain but also points us to our strength in Christ . Extended family wants to be there for you but shortly they want you to suck it up and get back to normal. They don’t understand we have a whole new normal. And to be honest sometimes I’m not sure what that new normal looks like. Sometimes it feels like I’m just rolling with the punches. Thank you so much for your heartfelt posts.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Oh, what a beautiful post, Melanie. I have thought of you so often, especially in the past couple of weeks. One of Seve’s friends/classmates in elementary through high school, Abby Mason, passed away suddenly from a pulmonary embolus last week. I hope that it is okay that I share your posts and blog with Abby’s mother, Carolyn. She will need your words of strength and hope as she walks, with you, a road that we as parents pray we never trod. Your posts truly inspire me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Sallie. You are always welcome to share my posts. It’s my way of redeeming this pain. I am so very sorry to hear about Abby. Her mother is devastated, I know. I’m sure she’s not ready yet, but when she might be have her friend me on Facebook if she uses it. I can direct her to helpful online support groups. Blessings to you, friend.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Last year, the time change really affected me…and that was before my world was shattered, so I’ve been a little apprehensive about it this year. I use fragrant candles a lot anyway, but I’m going to buy a special one and begin to do this every night. Thank you again, Melanie, for your wisdom.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, I am so very glad this is helpful Stacy. We have to find ways to redeem our pain, to point our hearts toward truth and to cling to the hope we have in Christ. Praying that the Lord makes Himself very present to you every day-especially in the evening as the night closes in and darkness threatens to undo us.

      Liked by 1 person

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