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 Compassionate Friends of Ottawa County (TCF) will participate in an annual worldwide event designed to honor the memories of all children, regardless of age, who have died. The chapter is joining Sunday, Dec. 8, with hundreds of organized memorial services around the world for The Compassionate Friends 17th 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 6:45 p.m. at Children’s Memorial in Lakeview Park and will feature music, readings and refreshments. 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 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,” says Chapter Leader Roseann Hickman. “The holiday season is an extremely difficult time of the year for families grieving the death of a child. This is our opportunity to unite 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.”
To contact The Compassionate Friends of Ottawa County, call Roseann Hickman at 419-308-4690. For more information about the national organization and locations of its chapters nationwide, call 877-969-0010 or visit TCF’s national website. The Compassionate Friends has a presence in at least 30 countries and is the world’s largest self-help bereavement organization.