The Brightest Light in the Darkest Night

Photo copyright Na’ama Yehuda

Trigger warnings: Early Parenthood, Loss

The Brightest Light in the Darkest Night

In the dream we’re falling. She’s a tiny bundle in my arms and we fall and fall until I don’t know whether I’m terrified or grateful that there’s no ground to hit.

Her cries pierce me awake and for a moment we’ve hit the ground but no, we’re in bed and she just wants a drink or a diaper, or maybe she was dreaming too. For that microsecond she’s all there is: even outside the dream there’s only her and me.

But then the world comes back, and there’s her, me, and the gaping hole where her mother should be.


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46 responses to “The Brightest Light in the Darkest Night

  1. Gosh, that’s powerful. The revelation that it was Dad with the baby because Mom had died was a total shock. And what very mixed emotions you evoke. The anguish of loss, of course, but also a kind of exaltation that Dad is raising his child with the single-minded focus of a Mom.

  2. Aww, so sad Elmo. Well done.

  3. Beautifully constructed to that revelation at the end

  4. Wonderfully narrated. Loss of a loved one is unbearable.
    Very sad. But, sadly a reality for many.

  5. Oh! This was so good, Jen. Beautifully written with it’s real-life feeling of terror.

  6. michael1148humphris

    What a sad image, and a powerful story, well done

  7. This tears me apart. It feels so real. Good writing on a tragic topic.

  8. That was a shock, really powerful stuff, the best ive read today

  9. CGraith

    The dream and the mixed feel of it – closeness, danger, loss of control, the all consuming power of love for a child, then wrapping it up with the braveness of the parent alone. Wow. Awards for saturated 100 words.

  10. Ouch! This one is going to linger. So sad.

  11. Very well formed story. Very real.

  12. Powerful in so few words. Gorgeous, in a sad way.

  13. So sensitively and heart-rendingly executed, Jen. Well done.

  14. Dear Jen,

    This is gut wrencher from beginning to end. Particularly with the realization it’s a single dad. Very well done.



  15. Wow, quite a shock at the end. I seen this played out on the news several times since Covid hit. Mom dies in the hospital, sometimes without even getting to see the baby and Dad is left to raise the child alone. Heartwrenching. Great writing, Jen.

  16. Yep, sometimes life’s journey can be a lonely one at the wrong time.

  17. A heart-wrenching story, well told.

  18. A sad story indeed, nothing can take the place of mother.

  19. His grief and fears were imagined in his nightmares. What a powerful story!

  20. heartbreaking story. hopefully, he’d find the courage to move on.

  21. Beautifully written tragedy.

  22. So beautifully told, with the sense of falling, the relief, then the remembering.

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