News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Letters

November 19, 2013

READERS' FORUM: Nov. 19, 2013

Candle lighting honors children

The death of a child is devastating, and it’s important to the family that the child always be remembered.

That’s why members of the Clark County, Ill., Chapter of The Compassionate Friends will participate in an annual worldwide event on Dec. 9 that is designed to honor the memories of all children, regardless of age, who have died. The chapter will join hundreds of organized memorial services around the world for The Compassionate Friends 16th annual Worldwide Candle Lighting, an event now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting in the world.

The local candle lighting will be part of a special service held at 7 p.m. (Central time) at Armstrong United Methodist Church and will feature music, poems and a remembrance table. Those who have lost children are asked to bring a picture for the table.

Annually, tens of thousands of families, united in loss, light candles for one hour during the Worldwide Candle Lighting, held the second Sunday in December. Candles are first lit at 7 p.m., local time, just west of the International Date Line. As candles burn down in one time zone, they are lighted in the next, creating a 24-hour wave of light as the observance continues around the world.

This is our gift to the bereavement community of Clark and Edgar County. The holiday season is an extremely difficult time of the year for families grieving the death of a child. This event unites bereaved families around the globe as a symbolic way of showing the love we continue to carry for our children, even though they can no longer be with us physically.

We invite everyone, whether or not they have suffered the personal loss of a child, to join in this moving tribute.

With the theme “… that their light may always shine,” the Worldwide Candle Lighting has grown larger every year with formal services last year in all 50 United States and Washington, D.C., as well as at least 19 countries around the world. TCF’s national website, www.com

passionatefriends.org, is expected to receive and post information on more than the 550 services submitted to and listed on its website last year. The website will also feature a Remembrance Book on Dec. 9, which, in a 24-hour-period, will receive thousands of tributes from family members and other caring individuals.

To contact the Clark County Chapter of The Compassionate Friends, call me at 812-251-7816. For more information about the national organization and locations of its chapters nationwide, call toll-free 877-969-0010 or visit TCF’s national website.

— Sarah LeMay-Howard

Clark County Chapter of

The Compassionate Friends

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