Candlelight Service Remembers Children Who Have Died
For over twenty years, Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting has been held on the second Sunday in December at 7:00pm, creating an international wave of warm candlelight in remembrance of children who have died. 2019 marks the eleventh year that the Canadian Mental Health Association, Windsor-Essex County Branch (CMHA-WECB) has held a Candlelight Service in conjunction with this international event to bring bereaved parents and family members together to honour and remember their child.
“The Candlelight Vigil provides the opportunity to come together in a meaningful way, to honour and remember children who have died at any age from any cause. Parents, family members, and friends gather for a time of quiet remembrance to reflect on how their life was touched by that child. This is particularly significant because candles are lit worldwide creating a wave of light and unified support”, states Sonia McMahon-Comartin, Bereavement Educator at CMHA.
This free event consists of a service that sees families bring a photo of their loved one to place on the memory table, light a candle in honour of all those who have died, and walk in an outdoor candlelit procession. This year, Michael and Michelle Kuhlmann will share their story of the loss of their son Aaron, who died in 2017 at the age of 23 in a tragic winter car accident. The Kuhlmann’s took part in bereavement services offered at CMHA-WECB, including the Bereaved Parents support group, which has enabled them to transform their grief, instead of transmit it, and to remember not just that Aaron died, but that he lived, and his life was full of beautiful memories.
The vigil will take place on Sunday, December 8th beginning at 6:30pm at the Fogolar Furlan Club, 1800 North Service Road, Windsor. Once again, the event is being generously supported by Tim Hortons and the volunteer group, Remembering Our Children (ROC).
The vigil is an extension of CMHA-WECB’s Bereavement Program, which supports hundreds of children and adults annually who are coping with the loss of a loved one.
The program relies heavily on community support for sustainability.