The lyrics reflect Mark Morton's life experience after the death of his first born child Madalyn. He wrote them a year after his loss, shortly after his wife gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Morton recalled in an essay written for Noisey
"Not too long ago, I sat playing guitar on a barstool in my kitchen and within about 15 minutes came up with the outline of the music that would become the song 'Embers.'"
Morton added that he "began scribbling lyrics to my wife. I described our shared pain and made references to places and events that only she would understand and recognize. I promised her that there was 'still light to find our way.' I hoped I was right."
"I didn't write all of the lyrics to 'Embers,'" he continued. "Randy Blythe wrote the words to the outro section that Chino Moreno sings so beautifully (those words and that performance are absolutely magical), but the verses and choruses that I did write reflect my experience living in the aftermath of a child's death."
"For me, 'Embers' is a song about hope," Morton concluded. "It's about hanging on to that last shred of light in your life and not giving up on it. It's about believing that love can overcome despair. Most of all, it's about forgiving yourself."