Now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, the 20th annual Worldwide Candle Lighting, a gift to the bereavement community from The Compassionate Friends, creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone. TCF’s WWCL started in the United States in 1997 as a small internet observance, but has since swelled in numbers as word has spread throughout the world of the remembrance. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten.
So on December 9, 2012, at 7 pm our time, we lit a candle at home for our son Maxwell Dennis Romeo. It was surreal to know that around the country and the world, other parents were doing the same thing for their dead children at 7 pm in their local time zone when just weeks earlier, we had never known such an event existed.
This coming Sunday, we will be lighting a candle again for our boy. Actually, I'll probably light several of them because I like candles and soft, glowing light that pierces the darkness, if only for an evening.
(Sometimes friends light candles for Max, too. When they do, I love it when they take photos of their candles and share them with me. It reassures me that through their quiet rememberance of Max, my son will never be forgotten. For a bereaved mother, that's about as good as it gets.)