their brilliance continues to light the world

“There are stars whose radiance is visible on Earth though they have long been extinct. There are people whose brilliance continues to light the world though they are no longer among the living. These lights are particularly bright when the night is dark. They light the way for humankind.” – Hannah Senesh, poet

I’ve been rising early in the morning and going out on our lanai which faces east to look at the dark sky and ponder my life. What has greeted me every morning lately is a big bright star that I discovered is the planet Venus. I think of these words by Hannah Senesh when I gaze at Venus, and I remember the people in my life who are no longer a physical presence but whose love and creativity and compassion still burn brightly within me.
All Saints Day on November 1st and All Souls Day on November 2nd are both days in which we have the opportunity to contemplate death. All Saints Day is in honor of all saints known and unknown, and All Souls Day commemorates loved ones who have passed on. Both events strengthen the spiritual bonds between us and those who belong to the “great majority.”
I have lost too many friends this year, and their stars are especially bright this time of year.  I am comforted by their memories and inspired by their love at a time when, because of quarantine, I have been unable to honor them in person at a memorial or graveside service.
I also honor all those who have died in the pandemic, and I hope their lights continue to burn brightly in the lives of those who loved them. We can all honor their sacrifice by taking care of each other, using science and logic as our guides and not pretending that their deaths mean nothing.
What lights burn most brightly for you?

4 Comments

  1. ROSEMARY Ann FORSTROM on November 1, 2020 at 7:09 am

    Beautiful post today, thank you. My family has endured so many deaths in the last few years. I am sure this is not unique but it has been shattering for us. When deaths come two to three in a year those left behind don’t have to work through their grief. My brightest light comes from my husband. We spent fifty years together and he was a man that quietly watched over his family and friends . After eighteen months since his death he still colors my/our world. He visits in dreams and in other ways. He and the lessons he taught us still guide us. We are finding it easier to talk about him/them with smiles. In many ways this time of pandemic has given us more time to think and remember. This is both a good and a difficult time. Thank you for reminding me that there is still beauty around us. The image of you looking into the dark sky and seeing light there is beautiful.

    • Emilie Richards on November 1, 2020 at 11:22 am

      I’m sorry for all the deaths you’ve experienced these past months, Rosemary. It’s comforting to know that you’ve been able to find light around you still, and that you have good memories to look back on. Many of our departed friends were neighbors at our cottage in New York and I think the worst of it will hit me when we go back next summer and they are no longer there. I’ll never forget them, though, and I am so grateful they were in my life.

      As for planets? With the time change, sadly Venus will be shining brightly when almost everyone is still asleep. I hope I’ll still see her–and then go back to bed? Mars, though, is out and about when it’s dark with a lovely red glow in the sky near the moon–but not as near as he was a little earlier in the week. Planets and stars seem so much brighter when the rest of the world is so dark.

  2. DELORES on November 1, 2020 at 9:33 am

    It is so hard when those who were light, love, support in our lives are no longer there. This blog immediately sent my thoughts to my mom, younger brothers and husband. Last night my ‘light’ was in the face of the Jack-o-lantern my son carved for my front porch for the hordes of trick or treaters who didn’t come. So sad! He brought it inside later and left the candle burning, and it brought so many memories as we sat and talked.

    • Emilie Richards on November 1, 2020 at 11:15 am

      I’m so glad he was able to be with you and that you had time to talk about your past together.

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