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Remember others this season

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By The Staff

Dear Editor,

The season of celebration is upon us and for many, filled with joy and special moments. But for too many, it can be filled with emptiness and sadness. This season is the most difficult time of the year for those of us mourning the death of a child.The Worldwide Candle Lighting event started in 1997 in the United States as a small Internet observance, but over the last 10 years has grown in size and spread around the globe as a way to commemorate and honor children in an event that transcends all ethnic, cultural, religious, and political boundaries. It is sponsored by The Compassionate Friends, a non-profit self-help bereavement organization with 600 chapters in the United States and 30 countries. In 1998, Congress passed a bill establishing the second Sunday of December as National Children’s Memorial Day.On Dec. 9, candles were lighted at 7 p.m. local time just west of the International Date Line. As candles burn down in one time zone, they are lighted in the next, creating a 24-hour wave of light as the observance continues around the world. We observe this day in many ways, some alone, some with friends and family, and some in organized candle lighting ceremonies.In 2006, there were more than 400 official Worldwide Candle Lighting ceremonies held just in the US. The largest in New Mexico will be in Albuquerque at the Milne Stadium at 1000 Hazeldine SE. Smaller events are scheduled in Artesia, Hobbs and Los Lunas. You can learn more about this event or The Compassionate Friends by going to www.compassionatefriends.org, or calling 877-969-0010.United States TCF Executive Director Patricia Loder said, “The Worldwide Candle Lighting is one way in which we can show we are united with bereaved families everywhere and the love we continue to carry for our children, even though they are no longer with us.” Regardless of whether you observe this day with hundreds or dozens or alone, know that you are not alone in your grief. Light your candle and remember your child as I will be lighting my candle for Michael as well as ones for Jeremy, Joel, Beth, Brad, Daniel, Gary, Lacey, James, Erin, Jeff, Garth, Evelyn and David. May you find peace this holiday season.Candee M. HaskinsLos Alamos