The Beacon 2024 06/09

My breakfast room window is large and does not do a great job of keeping out the summer heat or the cold in the winter. While it's not very practical, I will never replace it because it allows me to watch a beautiful sunrise. Every morning, this view fills me with a sense of peace and connects me to the world outside.

Every night, my body wakes up at the exact same time the detective told me my daughter died. No matter how tired I am, I can't go back to sleep again. So, I get up, make myself a cup of coffee, and settle into my chair with my computer, Bible, devotional book, and journal. These early morning hours have become a special time for me, a chance to process my grief and find strength for the day ahead.

In the quiet, dark early hours, I write, read, and connect online with other parents who have lost their children. They, like me, wake up with memories of their own losses. The silence is so deep that the dogs' snoring on the couch sounds loud to me. This quiet time is both a comfort and a reminder of the silence left behind in my daughter's absence.

Gradually, other sounds join in—squirrels brave the rising sun, cardinals, blue jays, and robins hop from branch to branch, announcing that it's time to catch worms.

I look up, and the warm glow of the sunrise outlines the bare winter branches of the giant forty-foot cottonwood trees. It reminds me that the world keeps turning, the seasons keep changing, and I am still breathing. There is beauty in how life continues, even when we face our own tragedies.

Darkness hides things from us; it creates fear and makes us feel alone. The night turns familiar places into strange, unknown territory, and our worries grow in the shadows. In the dark, my grief feels even more overwhelming, and the world outside my window seems more terrifying and unfamiliar.

But light takes away the power of darkness. I feel brave during the day. The morning light brings clarity and a sense of security that the night cannot provide. I am grateful for the daily reminder that darkness will not last forever; even the night has limits. Every sunrise promises a new day, a new beginning, and a glimmer of hope that maybe, just maybe, I will find a way to live with this grief.

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