Child remembrance ceremony planned

Posted: Monday, June 28, 2004

Hospice of the Central Peninsula will sponsor a remembrance candlelighting ceremony at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Cannery Road Beach in Kenai to honor and remember children who have died.

Participants will be invited to sit around a bonfire, listen to area musicians and share memories. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own music, poem, prayer or spiritual quote to share, as well as a thermos of coffee or hot chocolate.

Sue Zurfluh, director of the area hospice program and one of the event's organizers, said the loss of a child often is considered the worst loss a person can experience.

"The loss of a child is a parent's loss of their hopes, dreams and future," she said.

She added that many parents going through such a loss fear their child will be forgotten.

"Most find that sharing memories with friends and family is a way to deal with grief," Zurfluh said. However, she added, "Often, when parents start to talk about their child, the feedback is mixed. Many people are uncomfortable talking about a child that has died; their own fears may be aroused."

The Wednesday night vigil, also organized by Debbie and Curt Shuey, whose son, Jared, died of cancer in 1998, will be a time to share memories of children of all ages who have died and to celebrate their lives

For more information, call Debbie in the evenings at 283-6650 or Sue at 262-0453.

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