The Compassionate Friends to hold candle lighting service Dec. 9

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Special to the
Opelika Observer

For parents and other family members and friends grieving from the loss of a child, The Compassionate Friends, a local grief support group, will hold a memorial candle lighting service Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. The service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church which is located at 900 2nd Ave. in Opelika.
The speaker will be Pastor Jimmy Sprayberry, also a bereaved parent, and special music by Daniel Wells.
A power point presentation of children’s photos will allow loved ones to send in as many as three photos of their child to be viewed during the service. Photos must be emailed to Traycfreeman@hotmail.com and must be received no later than Dec. 1. Photos received in the past will be included. A time of fellowship and refreshments will be held immediately following the service. Those attending are welcome to bring your favorite refreshment to share with others.
The Compassionate Friends is a grief support group that meets every first Thursday evening of the month at 7 p.m. during the year, except July, to help those grieving from the loss of a child. Members meet to celebrate the life of their child or children with others in a safe, comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. Many members of TCF have lost children many years ago but continue to attend meetings to help support others in their grief journey.
“No one is ever prepared for the loss of a child,” said Lynne Schwarzauer, coordinator of the local chapter. “While no one can take away the pain of such a loss, we can give support and a place for the bereaved to talk about their child and share the grief with others who understand.”
Activities to help with the burden of the loss may include special speakers and guest who understand the devastating and life changing event of losing a child.
The Compassionate Friends have established a memorial garden at the corner of Columbus Parkway and Geneva Street in Opelika for those who would like to plant a tree, shrub or structure in memory of their child. Established three years ago, the garden is open to the public to visit and includes an arbor and bench for sitting and reflecting. The garden is managed through donations and a committee from The Compassionate Friends members.
Anyone interested in further information on The Compassionate Friends regular meetings, the candle light memorial service or the memorial garden can contact Lynne Schwarzauer at 334-663-4345.

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