Remembering our lost children

It’s often said that Christmas is a time for children, so how do you cope at this time of year  if you’ve lost a child?

The Middleton-based charity Charlies-Angel-Centre Foundation teamed up with St Cross Church in Middleton for the second year to host a Christmas Memorial Service. About fifty people attended the service on Thursday evening (14 December 2017). They were mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, friends of children who had died tragically young.

The simple ceremony was led by Father Andy Myers, who stressed that everyone was welcome. The focus of the service was family members lighting candles for their loved one.

Father Myers reminded us that the importance of names and candles goes back for millennia of humans history. He described names as including essential spiritual essence of the person and that candles are a symbol of light in the darkness. He then read out the names of children we had lost and a candle was lit for each and every one of them.

It was particularly moving when Kyle Asquith’s name was read out and a large number of people came forward to light a candle. Both family members and class mates of the boy from Cockburn School who died very suddenly in 2013, but who saved five people’s lives through organ donation.

Closing the service, Ruth from the charity said:

“I hope you can have as good a Christmas as you can. Hold hands and stick together.”

I can only imagine what it must be like to lose your child, but it was clear that those that had found support in the service and the friendship of others that have walked in their shoes.