Warwick community to mark Worldwide Candle Lighting on Dec. 11

| 15 Feb 2012 | 10:27

    Special service set for those who have lost a child Warwick — There is a special pain reserved for those who have lost a child, whether that child died in childhood or as a grown adult. Claudia Grammatico of Warwick should know. The life of her only son, Paul, was stolen a few years ago, when he was only 26 years old. A speeding drunk driver killed her child. Her only way out of the devastating aftermath of Paul’s death was to reach out to others who know from sad, terrible experience how she feels and what she suffers. She became the co-founder and facilitator of the St. Anthony Community Parental Bereavement Group. “Friends and family of children who have died might not know that we are a special service for them,” said Grammatico. “We exist to help them and to bring unity at this special time of year.” Holidays particularly difficult She said Warwick has been especially hard hit this year with the loss of many local young people. “The local communities might not be familiar with our bereavement activities, and we want everyone who might need us to know we’re here.” The holidays are especially difficult for families who have lost a child - parents, grandparents and siblings of the child who died feel the loss even more sharply when it appears that families all around them are intact and happy. For such grief-stricken families, the local bereavement group takes part in a sacred, ecumenical Worldwide December Candle Lighting as a way to honor and remember the lost child. “All can light a candle and give voice to the name of each child who passed,” said Grammatico. On Dec. 11, hundreds of thousands of candles are lit at 7 p.m. in each time zone across the globe in a remarkable display of love and unity. 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. Locally this year, the event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Warwick United Methodist Church. “It’s a day when we are united in love and loss in our shared grief experience,” said Grammatico. “We remember our children who died too soon with a beautiful evening of heartfelt readings, songs, memories and friendship as parents, siblings, grandparents and friends unite.” Grammatico urges anyone who has suffered such a loss to come, whether that loss occurred last week, last year or 30 years ago. “And invite your priest, rabbi or minister to come witness a room filled with broken yet hope-filled hearts.” If you go The Worldwide Candle Lighting will take place on Sunday, Dec. 11, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Warwick United Methodist Church, 135 Forester Ave., Warwick. Candles are supplied and families are asked to bring a framed photo of their lost child for the remembrance table. Call Claudia Grammatico at 845-986-8170 for more information. The St. Anthony Community Parental Bereavement Support Group meets the fourth Monday of the month from 6:30-9 p.m. at Mount Alverno Center around the corner from the hospital at 20 Grand St., Warwick. Call 845-987-5293 for more information. We remember our children who died too soon with a beautiful evening of heartfelt readings, songs, memories and friendship.” Claudia Grammatico, mother of a son who was killed by a speeding drunk driver