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Local Compassionate Friends group to join worldwide candle lighting

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By Amy Taylor

The Compassionate Friends of Nelson County meet every month at Hospice of Nelson County. They come together to share hope and comfort and compassion, since each member of the group has faced the loss of a child. Their mission is to assist families reach a positive resolution of their grief following the loss.

December is a special month for Compassionate Friends around the globe, because a service honoring all the children who have passed on is held the second Sunday. In our community, The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting will be at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9. Group members and anyone interested will meet at the Hospice office, 111 N. Third St., for the event.

Believed to be the largest mass candle lighting around the globe, the Worldwide Candle Lighting creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are conducted that evening, and thousands of informal candle lightings are held in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who will never be forgotten.

Some of these children were newborns who never got to see much of the world. Some of the youngsters were school-age, while others were grown children whose parents have outlived them.

Of all the losses that humans face, the loss of a child seems to cause more pain than any other type of bereavement. Special services such as the Worldwide Candle Lighting are important ways to bring comfort and healing.

The beginning of the credo of the Compassionate Friends says it all: “We need not walk alone. We are The Compassionate Friends. We reach out to each other with love, with understanding and with hope. Our children have died at all ages, and from many different causes, but our love for our children unites us. Your pain becomes my pain, just as your hope becomes my hope.”

During the candle lighting, a memorial message board will be available at The Compassionate Friends’ Web site: www.compassionatefriends.org/. Thousands of postings are received each year throughout the world. They include shared memories, poems and thoughts that have helped parents heal.

If you need more information about the Nelson County event, call Mary Ballard-Boone at 348-5683.