I will soon honor my husband Adam’s yahrzeit. It’s been seven years. Seven years of living alone, and many times eating Shabbat dinner alone. This time of year, darkness sets in earlier, and after seven years, it gets sadder and lonelier to eat alone.

Last evening at approximately 5 o’clock,I scrambled for my flashlight ... the lights suddenly went out in my home, then flickered on and went out again. It was pitch-black, both in the house and in the street.

I scrambled for my flashlight and found it on the night table next to my bed. I turned it on. Nothing! Last time I checked, that flashlight gave off light.

Darkness was all around me. I felt my way with my hands while walking into walls and went into a bedroom I thought was the kitchen. Careful not to fall down the stairs, I eventually found the kitchen. Absolute darkness.

I rummaged around the counter but couldn’t find the flashlight next to the refrigerator. The phone on my kitchen table wasn’t working. It used to have a light on it. I picked up the receiver, but it had no dial tone. I started to become frightened since there was no way to notify anyone of the situation.

Then I remembered that I kept my cell phone in a pocketbook on a door handle next to the stairs. Careful not to fall, I found the pocketbook and fumbled for the phone. When I flipped it open, a light went on. Never have I so tangibly appreciated the Chassidic saying that a little light dispels a lot of darkness. I called my sister who lives in another part of town and told her to alert the phone company. Looking out the windows, I saw nothing but complete darkness.

About 20 minutes later, the lights and phone came back on. I remembered G‑d said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. I realized that in life, the darkness can feel so overpowering, but it’s often just a prelude to the light.

When Shabbat came, I set the table for one with beautiful dishes decorated with flowers, polished silver and cloth napkins. A glass of wine and two rolls under a challah cover. I put a scarf around my head and lit the Shabbat candles. I said the prayers over the wine and over the challah, then ate and finished my meal.

I remembered when the family ate and prayed together at this table. They looked forward to roasted chicken and potatoes, and homemade apple cake for dessert from my Bubby Chana’s recipe.

I felt so alone.

I moved into the living room where Adam and I used to watch the candles burn down. I looked into the dining room. The chandelier was from my mother’s house; the dishes were also her best dishes that she used on Shabbat and the holidays, and for special guests. The mirror came from my mother-in-law’s apartment. The wall clock hung in my Bubby Eta’s apartment, the wine glasses came from my Bubby Chana.

Each of these things were just physicalI am not alone; my ancestors are with me items but they represented lives so fully lived. So much goodness and generosity. As I looked at the chandelier, it now spread warmth and delight.

I will watch the candles until they burn down, as my husband used to watch. I am not alone. My ancestors are with me.

Every person is a light, and as long as we do good deeds, we shine our light into the world. These lights are eternal ... and fill the world with their brightness.

And I, too, will continue to shine my own light into the world. For “the soul of man is G‑d’s candle” (Proverbs 20:27).