Sunday, October 7, 2007

Angel of Hope

Many states have an Angel of Hope Memorial, giving all bereaved families the opportunity to memorialize the loss of their child. The statue is a dove-winged angel, whose face is that of a child's, its arms raised as a child to be lifted. In its wings are HOPE.

Richard Paul Evans' book, The Christmas Box, was the impetus for this memorial. The story is of a woman who mourns the loss of her child at the base of an Angel Monument. As a result of this story, the Angel Monument was introduced to the public and is now known world-wide as the Christmas Box Angel. Although Evans' book is mostly fiction, the Angel Monument once existed in Salt Lake City, but it is speculated that a flood destroyed the original statue. Evans commissioned a new Angel statue in response to reports that grieving parents were actually seeking out the Angel as a place to mourn and heal. At its dedication there was no division in race, in religion, or in class. Just one heart huddled together for shelter from life's storms to find peace and hope at the base of the Angel.

This statue has provided comfort and solace to thousands of parents since 1995 and many states now have their own Angel statues due to the dilligence and dedication of bereaved parents who have made it happen through donations. There are opportunities for donors to receive recognition on a wall as well as a plaque for their loved one in many of these states. Find out if your state has one and if they don't, perhaps it is a project you can work on and make happen in your area.

Each year on the second Sunday in December at 7 p.m., there is a world-wide candle lighting for all children who have died. Many communities have these at the site of the Angel. Others plan the ceremony at a local park, church or cemetery area. To find out more about the ceremonies, contact Compassionate Friends website at . If interested in information about starting an Angel of Hope Memorial in your community, contact Hansen's Mortuary in Scottsdale, Arizona. There is one there on the cemetery property, and it is a beautiful tribute to all our chidren.

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