The Light

3 min readDec 11, 2022

Some Sunday mornings when I am particularly lucky, I get to spend a hour or two in the woods walking with my friend, Eva.

Eva is an Episcopal priest.

We met years ago, when we were both more of less comfotably installed in a nearby church.

For different reasons we both let go of Sunday service,

but kept hold of each other.

Our walks are exactly the kind you want them to be.

We dip in and out of theology (her) writing (me) kids, family, health, purpose, politics, jobs, marriage, and the environment (both).

This morning we met at a diner. One of us has a knee thing.

I’m not naming names.

We ordered all the eggs and breakfast meats, and potatoes and toast and also an extra order of pancakes because women pressing up on fifty do what the hell they want.

Our waitress brough the pancakes split evenly on separate plates as an APPETIZER and we both took pictures, because women just know how to hold space for each other, dammnit, and it helps to have documentation for the days when it all just gets away from you.

Once we had one full cup of diner coffee plus many creamers each, Eva said this:

“I have really been thinking a lot about Advent…”

which was amazing and holy, and exactly what I needed to hear

Because I have really been thinking a lot about Amazon Prime delivery, White Lotus and the new gray hairs around my temples.

Eva said lots more, which I won’t share now (get your own priest for goodness, sake), but I will say this…

I told Eva I wasn’t big on the whole “unconditional love” thing because I wasn’t sure I got it, or give it, or even understand it.

But I told her I do like inherent worth.

It makes sense to me.

I love the idea that we all simpply have something holy inside of us.

And if we are super lucky we get it to glow.

When it glows it sometimes (often) attracts the light of the Universe (I’m fine if you call that God, not that you need my permission) not because you deserve it, but because we are all just so worthy of it.

Eva agreed.

And then she asked me this —

Had I ever been to Christmas eve service (yes) when they darken the church, because the days are long and Jesus isn’t quite here yet?

And THEN the candles are lit.

One by one

The people pass the light–one person to another

They often sing Silent Night (I added that part because it makes me cry, and I absolutely sing the low harmony even when people give me the side-eye).

Yes the people sing Silent Night, Eva agreed.


“And the light does not diminish when it is shared. IT SPREADS.”

And I cried a little bit because if that isn’t most glorious definition of hope and love, I just don’t know what it.

And so, as this year is closing, I am now, too, thinking a lot about Advent.

In fact I am making a resolution, which I almost never do:

May I endeavor to be the light, to find the light, or ignite the light.

And if by some miracle I am able able to do that that —

may I be lucky enough to share it, as well.

Peace to the many (many of you are my close circle of loves) who need to borrow from someone’s light this holiday season. I see you. I love you. My candle is burning for you, as yours has for me on so many dark nights.

Meghan Riordan Jarvis, MA, LCSW is an author, podcast host, Tedx Speaker, and psychotherapist specializing in trauma and grief and loss. After the deaths of both of her parents within two years of each other Meghan began speaking on a larger scale about the importance of supporting grievers. Founder of Tacking Point Partners, Meghan and her team consult regularly with companies addressing grief in the workplace. Meghan’s podcast “Grief is My Side Hustle” and grief writing workshop “grief mates” can be found at Meghan’s memoir. “The End of The Hour” publishes with Zibby Books in December 2023




Meghan Riordan Jarvis is a trauma and grief-informed psychotherapist, speaker, educator, writer, wife, and mother of three.