Sunday, December 4, 2016

Worldwide Candle Lighting and other info

A reminder that the 20th annual Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting  to  honor the memory of the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and grandchildren who left too soon will be held. It unites family and friends around the globe when hundreds of thousands of people commemorate and honor their memory. Candles are lit for one hour at 7 p.m. local time. By doing this, it creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone.

It started in the U.S. in 1997 as a small internet observance, but has since swelled in numbers as word has spread throughout the world. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten.

Local bereavement groups, churches, funeral homes, hospitals, hospices, children’s gardens, schools, cemeteries and community centers have arranged services for all size groups. Check on the Compassionate Friends Website for postings of where some of these are held. If there are none in your area, you may plan one on your own open to the public and use Compassionate Friends website to help with suggestions on planning the service. It can be as simple as getting into a circle, lighting a candle and saying a few prayers for those who died and perhaps one special prayer for your child before blowing out your candle. In some locations, the names of those who died and are attending the service are named as well as a speaker giving prayers. If planning one for your community, let TCF know, so it can be posted so others can attend and/or know about it. TCF also invites you to post a message in the Remembrance Book which is available during the event at the national website.

The Worldwide Candle Lighting gives bereaved families everywhere the opportunity to remember their child(ren) so that their lights may always shine.
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I read a fabulous idea recently about parents who wanted to honor their daughter who died. They did this by donating children’s books to a children’s hospital for reading and also donating grief books for those parents to read. It has gone over very well. Children were delighted to read or have stories read to them and parents could either read in the hospital or take the books home to read. I would definitely encourage any parents who want to honor their child to take up a  collection from parents who no longer need books for youngsters or to buy new books for this worthwhile project. Contact the local children’s hospital for additional information on how to go about doing this for them.
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If you want to create a memory book for your child who died, Kelly Gerken founded and is president of Sufficient Grace Ministries, a non-profit organization that helps bereaved families create memory books of their children. Kelly and husband Tim lost three of their five children to Potter’s Syndrome in utero.
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A support group for families who have a child suffering from cancer is Cal’s Angels, offering hope and love. Its mission and purpose to grant wishes, raise awareness and fund research to help kids fighting cancer continues Cal’s legacy, according to his parents, Tom and Stacey Sutter. Cal Sutter never gave up hope after his diagnoses of Leukemia. He was always more concerned about the well-being of others fighting cancer than he was about himself during his 14 month battle with the disease.

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