The Longest Night

I wasn’t going to write any more posts in 2017. The last line of my last post was the last time I planned to think out loud about my life without my husband. I have some amazing opportunities lined up for 2018 and I decided it’s time to define myself by what I’m adding to my life, instead of what I’m missing. But even the most positive self-talk can’t alter time and 2017 isn’t quite done with me yet.

I’m not even going to pretend to be surprised that Facebook’s all-knowing algorithms targeted me with posts for all the “longest night” services in my area. If you’ve never heard of these, the “longest night” or “blue Christmas” worship service is offered by many churches on December 21 – the longest night of the year – for people dealing with grief or loss. As much as I want pretend December 21 is just another hash mark in the countdown to wherever I’m headed, I can’t ignore the irony that this is my wedding anniversary.

Of course, the last three months have felt like one long, dark night, so I can’t imagine I’ll be any more bereft on our anniversary than I have any other night. But I’ve prepped myself all the same. Every night after this will be a little shorter; every morning the sun will come up a little earlier. And I’ve added as many sources of warmth and light as I can to our little house.

I’ve embraced the concept of hygge (pronounced hoo-gah), a Danish word that, as I understand it, doesn’t translate directly, but essentially means: a quality of coziness that engenders a feeling of contentment and well-being. Things associated with hygge include a fireplace, hot cocoa, sweaters and blankets, good books and good friends. So, I had a chimney sweep come over to clean and inspect our fireplace, which is now blessed and ready to use. I added a Himalayan salt lamp to my living room and continue to light candles in the evening. I added a lamp to my bedroom and have been diligent about opening the curtains in every room in the house, every morning.

So, that’s how I’m facing my first longest night without him. I may not be able to change how long this night lasts, but I can surround myself with as much light as possible, until daybreak comes.

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