First Posted: 12/16/2014
CLARKS SUMMIT — The Ryan Room at The Abington Community Library was the setting for the 2014 Candle Lighting ceremony on Dec. 14. Members of the community gathered at 7 p.m. for the program that was held in conjunction with The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting.
Each year, on the second Sunday in December, hundreds of thousands of people gather around the globe to light candles to honor the memories of the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and grandchildren who have died.
Three videos, “Heaven was needing a hero,” “You Will Never Be Forgotten” and “Precious Child” by Karen Taylor, as well as poems that included “We Thought of You with Love Today,” “To Those I Love,” and “Far Apart” were presented to mark the local observance.
Deede Rothenberg, Clarks Summit, has organized the local candle lighting program for 10 years, and although she is not affiliated with The Compassionate Friends, an organization geared toward helping parents who have lost children, she said the program really appealed to her.
Her daughter, Janet, passed away in July 2004 when she was 19 years old, while studying with the semester at sea program through the University of Pittsburgh.
“My feeling is that since everyone was someone’s child, and this is a difficult time for everyone, the candle lighting is appropriate for anyone who is feeling the loss of a friend or family member,” Rothenberg said. “What I like, is it is a part of a worldwide candle lighting at 7 p.m. across the world and people are lighting candles to remember those who have passed away. It makes us part of something so much larger than just ourselves. I do it because people have said it’s helpful and if I can do something to help others, I feel in some small way, it’s a way to remember my daughter.”
Leah Ducato Rudolph, Abington Community Library director said she is thinking a lot of her father-in-law this year.
“He was not my child, but he was a child to someone and a wonderful grandfather to my children. We are all children of someone,” she said. “As sad as this is, it’s still good to be in the comfort and company of others who are grieving.”
Prior to the start of the program, Rabbi Daniel Swartz of Temple Hesed in Scranton, said, “The loss of a child is one of the most tragic things that can happen to someone. It’s not something you get over easily. You’ve heard of the ‘Five Stages of Grief’ and it makes it (grieving) sound like such a linear process. I have found so many people who feel like they’ve failed because they haven’t gone through this…The poem is a way of understanding it doesn’t work like that.”