After our son Garret died in June of 2006, we were introduced to a group called Compassionate Friends. This group has chapters all over the world and in most cities within the US; this group offers monthly meetings to parents who have lost a child of any age. Group therapy really wasn't a thing that my husband Jack really embraced, so I decided to attend a couple meetings by myself to see what it was all about. After attending a couple meetings I decided that it wasn't really my thing either; not to say it was bad, but a lot of it could have been where I was at in my grief process and I just wasn't there yet.
Jack & I both attended our first every Worldwide Candle lighting ceremony in December of 2006. The Omaha chapter had a ceremony at a hotel in Omaha. We submitted a picture and information about Garret that was played on a video and we all received candles to light when the time turned 7:00 pm The ceremony was heart wrenching, but beautiful at the same time. I realized that I could honor and do the same for my son and all others from the comfort of my own home.
A memory that stands out to me was probably in 2012. I was recently remarried to my husband Chantz and I had posted on Facebook about the candle lighting and asked everyone to do the same. I received so many pictures of people participating and honoring not only my son, Garret, but all the others that had gone on before us. In particular we lived on a lake at the time and we lived in a little inlet, so we could see the back of all the houses around us. One of our neighbors messaged me and had me look out my back window and most everyone that I could see had candles lit in their windows. I was humbled by the caring and generosity of so many neighbors, some I didn't know real well.
So, in short, lighting a candle is something we can ALL do for all our loved ones and for anyone we know (or don't know) who have lost a child at any age.
Sunday, December 11th at 7:00 p.m (your time zone) lets create a wave of light around the world. Following is what I posted on my IG & FB post about:
Worldwide candle lighting day is a celebration of solidarity and memory. It's a day on which people around the world gather to light candles for children who have died and to show that they will always be loved and never forgotten.
The candles are lit at the same time in every time zone; everyone lights their candles at 7:00 p.m. in their local times zone. This results in a beautiful wave of light, traveling around the globe from time zone to time zone. It is believed that this is the biggest mass candle lighting in the world.
I will be lighting a candle in memory of my son Garret, my husband Jack, my brother Seth, and my sister in law Brooke, so that their memory lives on in my heart.
Thank you for supporting and I'd love to see pictures posted of your candles lit this Sunday night!
With Love -