I don’t have words to describe the emotion that enveloped me these past three summers at The Compassionate Friends National Conferences. Each time, there I stood, shoulder to shoulder, heart to heart with 1,500+ other bereaved moms, dads, and siblings. In a light originating from a single flame, until the glow enveloped the hall, we lit candles, one from the other, in memory of our loved ones. As the flame was passed, we were recipients of the gift of the child’s name who brought light to our dark candle. 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 one’s name.
I have lit candles at home for our daughter and taken comfort from the connection that was felt. But there was something deeper, more meaningful, when I stood among others who knew my heartache because of living their own. At that moment, eyes locked, Jim and I reached for each other’s hands below the glow of the lights, and without a word exchanged, we felt deeply connected in the moment. We were Robyn’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 16 years, The Compassionate Friends has hosted a Worldwide Candle Lighting that reaches across the globe like a sea of brightness, uniting 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. 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, for the second time, our TCF East Of the River CT Chapter will join the world’s largest candle lighting at the private home of
Cyndi’s parents, Charlie and Anita Beeler
75 Country Lane
5:30 / 6:00 PM to about 9:00 PM
All chapter members, their families and friends are invited to attend. 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. Those attending our chapter’s candle lighting are asked to bring an item or two to contribute to our Pot Luck Supper, Snacks and Desserts. We will be running a slide show presentation of all of our ‘children’. Photos can be submitted electronically by emailing them to Bettie-Jeanne at TCFEastOfTheRiverCT@gmail.com Share a few words about your child’s or sibling’ life; their likes or dislikes, what made them laugh, what made them special. If you have a poem or reading that you would like to contribute, please email also.
This is NOT a Holiday Party ~ But because of the younger children who share the home, visitors should anticipate Christmas decorations. It is a caring gathering, rather like our Vernon Diner Breakfasts and After Meeting Get-togethers of “like-hearted” families who understand the challenges faced not only at this time of year, but all the days of our lives.
An RSVP is appreciated via the form below
Questions? email Bettie-Jeanne at
or leave a voice message or leave a voice message at
More information about The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting Event can be found on our own website at
Worldwide Candle Lighting December 09 Honors Our ‘Children’
A list of other Connecticut and other Candle Lighting events, including the on-line virtual candle lighting and signing of the 2012 Remembrance Book, can be found on the National Website under News and Events /Worldwide Candle Lighting.♥