I donâ€™t have words to describe the emotion that enveloped me these past two summers at The Compassionate Friends National Conferences. Â Each time, there I stood, shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart with 1,500 other bereaved moms, dads, and siblings.Â In a light originating from a single flame, until the glowÂ enveloped the hall, we lit candles, one from the other, in memory of our loved ones.Â As the flame was passed, we were privy to the gift of the childâ€™s name who brought light to our dark candle. Â Then Jim and I proudly spoke our RobynApril’s name as we gave light to the candle next to us, and heard, in return, their own beloved oneâ€™s name.
I have lit candles at home for our daughter and taken comfort from the connection that was felt.Â But there was something deeper, more meaningful, when I stood among others who knew my heartache because of Â living their own. Â At that moment, Â eyes locked,Â Jim and I reached for each otherâ€™s hands below the glow of the lights, and without a word exchanged, we felt deeply connected in the moment.Â We were Robynâ€™s parents, together; each living the experience of her death alone, and yet sharing the deep loss, together, as her family. Sharing a Candle Lighting with other bereaved parents, siblings, grandparents, friends, family is Profound, Intimate, Important.
For the past 15 years, The Compassionate Friends has hosted a Worldwide Candle Lighting that reaches across the globe like a sea of brightness, unitingÂ family and friends who light candles for one hour to honor to remember children who have died from any cause, at any age from pre-birth to full maturity. Â As candles burn down in one time zone, they are then lit in the next, creating a virtual 24-hour wave of light as the observance continues around the world.
This year, our TCF East Of the River CT Chapter will join the worldâ€™s largest candle lighting at the private home of
Cyndiâ€™s parents, Charlie and Anita Beeler
75 Country Lane
6:00 PM to about 8:30 PM
All chapter members, their families and friends are invited to attend. Â Also welcome are any bereaved parents, grandparents and siblings who may have never attended a TCF EOTR CT Chapter meeting, but would like to become part of the gathering. Â Those attending our chapterâ€™s candle lighting are asked to bring an item or two to contribute to our Pot Luck Supper, Snacks and Desserts. Â We will be running a slide show presentation of all of our â€˜childrenâ€™. Â Photos can be submittedÂ electronicallyÂ by emailing them to Bettie-Jeanne at Â TCFEastOfTheRiverCT@gmail.comÂ Â Â Share a few words about your childâ€™s Â or siblingâ€™ life; their likes or dislikes, what made them laugh, what made them special. Â If you have a poem or reading that you would like to contribute, please email also.
This is NOT a Holiday Party ~ those trying to avoid holiday decorations and festivities can feel comfortable in these surroundings. It is a caring gathering, rather like our Vernon Diner Breakfasts and After Meeting Get-togethers of â€œlike-heartedâ€ families who understand the challenges faced not only at this time of year, but all the days of our lives.
Â An RSVP is appreciated via the form below
Questions? Â email Â Bettie-Jeanne at
or Â leave a voice message at Bettieâ€™s home ~ 860-870-7581
More information about The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting Event can be found on our own website at
Worldwide Candle Lighting December 11 Honors Our â€˜Childrenâ€™
A list of other Connecticut and other Candle Lighting events, including the on-line virtual candle lighting and signing of the 2011 Remembrance Book, Â can be found on the NationalÂ Website underÂ News and Events /Worldwide Candle Lighting.â™¥