Ceremony helps honor memories

Published 10:02 pm Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The annual Bereaved Parents Candle Lighting Ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Paul D. Camp Community College Workforce Development Center.

The ceremony gives parents, grandparents, siblings and friends the opportunity to honor the memory of a special child. This year’s ceremony will also be a tribute to Rose Goodman, a member of the Children’s Center Board of Directors, and a strong advocate for children. Goodman died in October.

Those attending are invited to bring memory items of their loved one such as a picture or special memento that represents the child’s life.

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One parent who attended last year’s ceremony was Owen Reece, whose son, Josh, died in an automobile accident in November 2007. Reece said it was important for him and his wife, Lisa, to attend the ceremony.

“We went to the candlelight ceremony last year, somewhat still in shock, because it was important to us to find a way to publicly acknowledge that Josh was our son and we loved him,” he said. “This year’s candlelight ceremony will be different in that I will be more focused on interacting with other families to offer comfort to and draw strength from as I progress on life’s journey.”

“The candlelighting ceremony is extremely special, because Josh’s name is spoken and his life is acknowledged in a public way,” Reece added. “Having ‘his’ candle and lighting it for special remembrances provides comfort and helps keep his spirit alive in our home.”

The Bereaved Parents Support Group meets at 7 p.m. the third Monday of each month at the Texie Camp Marks Children’s Center, 700 Campbell Ave. in Franklin.

“The Bereaved Parents Group is a very special group of people. The group offers me a safe place to express my feelings and tell my ‘Josh’ stories,” Reece said. “It provides support in the unique challenge of dealing with the aftermath of a child’s death in so many ways. We can laugh and be understood, and we can cry and be supported. It has been a tremendous blessing to me and helped me along life’s journey.”

For more information about the ceremony or the bereavement group, call Rosalind Cutchins at the Children’s Center at 562-6806, ext. 309.