LITTLE FALLS -- A candle lighting services is planned for 7 p.m. tonight at the Initiative Foundation at 405 First St. SE in Little Falls for families grieving the death of a child.
All bereaved parents, siblings, grandparents, other family members and friends are invited. The event is one of many held around the world, sponsored locally by the Central Minnesota chapter of The Compassionate Friends, an international self-help organization for families grieving the death of a child.
At this service, parents are invited to light a candle in memory of their child. Parents also may bring a single framed photo of their child for display.
A social time will follow with refreshments. For families who are not able to attend, they are encouraged to light a candle in memory of their children tonight.
Annually tens of thousands of families, united in loss, light candles for one hour during the worldwide candle lighting held the second Sunday in December.
As candles burn down in one time zone, they are lighted in the next, creating a virtual 24-hour wave of light as the observance continues around the world, warming the hearts of grieving parents, siblings and relatives everywhere.
The event is now in its seventh year.
The national TCF Web site is www.compassionatefriends.org, which hosts extended chat room hours and a message board for families to post tributes.
A common fear among bereaved parents is that their child will be forgotten. This day of commemoration provides an opportunity for friends, family and community to share memories and reflections with bereaved parents and siblings.
To contact the Central Minnesota chapter of The Compassionate Friends, call Karen Grittner at (320)468-6026.
Contact for the TCF Central Minnesota Sibling Chapter is (320)259-1014.
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