The Cathia Hamparian Children’s Memorial Candle Lighting will take place this year on Sunday December 12 at 6:45p.m. at the St. Leon Ghevondyants Armenian Cathedral in Burbank.
Wishing you an early Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season!
Life as we know it is different now with COVID. Thankfully, this year we have better chances of being with extended family, and the warmth and support of loved ones. For families who lost a child recently, it will be very difficult and sorrowful to find a reason to be thankful. I remember our first Thanksgiving, four months after Cathia’s passing, how despairing it was to sit and give thanks. How could we, when we couldn’t make sense of how we lost our healthy wonderful daughter in just one day! Family support was so helpful when all of us were experiencing the same loss… we had to have her seat set next to us… we had to be in our house where her presence was everywhere… we didn’t believe we would survive this unimaginable grief, this void in every breath we took… But we did, by the grace of God! We survived and we are testimony of the miracle of love, endurance, faith, hope to go on.
This year is a difficult milestone for our family, it’s been 25 years since we lost Cathia! Could we have imagined we could be here now? No! Did we imagine we will be able to have a Thanksgiving? No! We do, we count our blessings every day! We learned to live with our great loss and have her living in our hearts! This is also the 25th year since the Compassionate Friends started the Children’s Memorial Candle Lighting by a decree from then President Clinton.
His Eminence Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese, has announced a very special remembrance dedicated to our children, by commissioning a mural to adorn the outer wall of the St. Leon Gevondyants Armenian Cathedral, in Burbank. This will be a lasting tribute to all children who have passed away. There is an opportunity to have your child’s name remembered on this wall. If you would like more information and details, please let me know. We will have more details on Children’s Memorial Day when we gather at the Diocese to light candles in their memory, pray, reflect, and have a sharing time together. Join us at 6:45 p.m. in the Turpanjian Plaza area by the outdoor nativity scene. Please dress warm. Candles will be provided.
If you know of families who have lost a child, please forward this information and attached flyer to them. Bereaved families find comfort in this event by sharing, talking, lighting a candle…. Even if they don’t attend the event, lighting a candle for that one-hour helps.
The evening is organized by our In His Shoes ministry, which also holds the annual Toy Drive for children of domestic violence. Please feel free to bring a toy with you for the Drive.
I look forward to seeing you at the Cathia Hamparian Children’s Memorial Candle Lighting service. Please contact me if you have any questions.
Maria Hamparian, (626) 826-7833 or ForCathia@aol.com