The annual candlelight vigil for children who have died takes place on Sunday

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Bereaved parents and family members will gather online Sunday for Windsor’s 13th annual vigil for children who have died.

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“The purpose of the Candlelight Vigil is to provide a meaningful opportunity to share in a moment of deep reflection and remembrance,” said Sonia Comartin, a local bereavement educator for the Canadian Mental Health Association. “Families and friends can come together to honor their children’s lives, while connecting with other people who can really empathize. Whether they grieved again or the death occurred some time ago, everyone is welcome to share in this time of hope and healing. “

For the past 25 years, Compassionate Friends Worldwide candle lighting has been held on the second Sunday in December in memory of children who have died.

The local CMHA branch has organized a service in conjunction with the international event for the past 13 years to bring bereaved parents and family members together to honor their children.

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Julien’s House, a local charity that offers support to people anticipating or affected by the death of a loved one, joined CMHA last year to host the vigil.

“At Julien’s House we appreciate the association with CMHA and the awareness of pain and grief that the Candlelight Vigil brings,” said Dave Dyer, a heartbroken father and vice president of Julien’s House. “No parent should have to travel alone in their pain. It is important to connect grieving parents with ‘bereavement partners’ and meaningful restorative activities like this one. They honor our loved ones and promote community healing. “

The event will be held virtually again this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. The program will include reflections, music, messages of hope, and information on community supports.

“Our goal is to have a very special moment of memory,” said Comartin. “Knowing that this is possible even when we are not together in person, we hope that all the people whose lives have been touched by a child who has died will come together.”

The vigil begins at 6:30 pm on Sunday. To sign up for the Free Zoom link, go to CMHA website.

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