SYRACUSE — At 6:45 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11 at the Wawasee Family Fishing area, a very special gathering will be taking place to honor children that have passed away before us.
Any parent or sibling and their family and friends are welcome to participate in lighting a candle or sky lantern in memory of their special child or sibling that is loved and missed. This event takes place worldwide with candles at 7 p.m. and was first started by Compassionate Friends International a few years back.
This will be the third time Syracuse has presented a local event complete with the addition of sky lanterns, only made possible by the generous donations from others. Participants are asked to bring a candle and lighter although there will be extra on site. Sky Lanterns are available for a donation of $5, but not necessary. This event helps parents and siblings get through the holidays by knowing that others still care and miss their child or sibling.
Roger and Monica Lambright and Jim and Denise Fidler started this local event three years ago as a way to help keep the memories alive of their deceased children. Together, they lead a grief support group for parents, caregivers and siblings suffering the loss of a loved child by appointment only at The Vineyard Church in Syracuse. Any support from others in any way whether spoken, unspoken, a smile, a notecard, a text or simply a lantern lit in memory of the child gone before us makes a huge statement of compassion and caring for those that often don’t know how to cope, particularly during the holidays.
The event is open to any parent, family or sibling that has experienced the loss of a child. The price of reserving a lantern is a suggested donation of $5, but not required. The deadline to reserve a lantern is at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11, although there may be extra on hand for last minute participants.
There will be refreshments before and after the ceremony.
The Syracuse Lion’s Club once again kindly donated a live Christmas tree that is set up in the pavilion at Syracuse Lakeside Park. You may bring an ornament to hang at any time before the end of the year. The ornaments will stored for next year and the tradition will continue. The goal is to provide a bit of peace through light in a season that brings the most difficult sadness imaginable. Lighting a lantern and watching it float off into the sky is extremely comforting.
You may sponsor a lantern for a family by mailing or dropping off a donation off at Vineyard Church in Syracuse. The church’s number is (574) 457-4880, or you may text or call Denise Fidler at (574) 529-3595 ot Monica Lambright at (574) 518-1826.
Thank you to all who have donated in the past and present, your generosity helps grieving families in an incredible way!