The Lighthouse Chapter of The Compassionate Friends joined the 25th Annual Worldwide Candle Lighting Dec. 12 at Epworth United Methodist Church near Rehoboth Beach.
The candle lighting began in New Zealand and moved westward through each time zone as tens of thousands of bereaved parents, siblings, grandparents, relatives and friends around the globe gathered to light remembrance candles to honor their children who have died but will never be forgotten.
Nearly 100 people attended the local service to remember a son or daughter, a brother or sister, or a grandchild who had died. The group members heard their children’s names read and saw their picture on the large screens in the sanctuary. A large Christmas tree held numerous ornaments with pictures of those loved ones who have passed. Poems were read by parents, siblings and grandparents. The song “Who You’d Be Today” was sung by Jill Hicks. Jerry LaRosa played piano and sang “I’ll See You Again” and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
Mike Tyler, whose son passed away, read the names of the children who have died. Each person raised their lit candle to honor them.
Guest speaker Nora Sheehan spoke of her foster child, a wonderful son who made bad choices and eventually died of an overdose.
The service ended with the attendees reciting the Compassionate Friends Credo.
The Compassionate Friends provides highly personal comfort, hope, and support to every family experiencing the death of son or a daughter, a brother or a sister, or a grandchild, and helps others better assist the grieving family. The Lighthouse Chapter of The Compassionate Friends meets regularly at 7 p.m., the second Thursday of every month at Epworth United Methodist Church.
For more information go to compassionatefriends.org/chapter/lighthouse-chapter.