The Fayette County Chapter of The Compassionate Friends held a candle lighting ceremony Sunday evening to honor lives lost that continue to impact the families.
The program was held in the Fayette County Memorial Hospital Medical Arts Building II classroom in Washington Court House. The event, which began at 6:15 p.m., started with a few poems and readings by various members of the organization. Pieces of music were also played to continue honoring those who have departed. The names of dozens of people were read in order to cherish the memory of those people who impacted their families around the county.
At about 7 p.m., the organization lit five candles to symbolize the lives lost. The crowd was then asked to step outside to light their candles individually. Each person took a turn as they exited outside to light their candle with the ceremonial flame. The group formed a small circle and a member read another memorial for the crowd. Once the reading was finished, each person took a brief moment to speak to their departed family members and blow out their candle. Each whispered a nearly silent, “I love you,” others thanked the departed for being a part of their lives and some simply said, “I miss you.”
Once the candles had been extinguished, The Compassionate Friends invited the crowd to come back inside. Refreshments were served and the group participated in fellowship.
“We are a not-for-profit organization that helps parents, grandparents and siblings of deceased family members with a place to find common ground,” one of the local chapter founders, Robin Benson, said during an interview recently. “Around the world, with different time zones, a candle was lit every hour for the 24-hours, for these who have died and we are remembering.”
Contact Pam Melvin at (740) 490-8393 or Benson at (740) 572-6991 for additional information about the organization or to find out the next meeting time.
“There are about five or six chapters in Ohio and each try to provide a place where everyone has something in common and can be comfortable,” Benson said. “We are here to support those families who have lost someone. We try and give them a safe place to talk or to cry and just speak about these loved ones. Grieving has no time-line and everyone grieves differently.”
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy