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The Compassionate Friends of Grand Rapids joins with dozens of Chapters and thousands of bereaved across the country one day in the summer, for our “Walk to Remember” our children, brothers and sisters, grandchildren, and other family members who have died.

Whether someone walks a mile or a couple feet is not important. What is important is that we have taken this time to join with family and friends who care that an important person, a child, is missing from our lives. We are joining with bereaved families and friends walking in unity in states across our country to remember all children who died too soon, no matter their age or cause of death.

The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting unites family and friends around the globe in lighting candles for one hour to honor the memories of the sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, and grandchildren who left too soon. As candles are lit at 7:00 pm local time, hundreds of thousands of persons commemorate and honor the memory of all children gone too soon.

Now believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe, the annual Worldwide Candle Lighting, a gift to the bereavement community from The Compassionate Friends, creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone. TCF’s WWCL started in the United States in 1997 as a small internet observance, but has since swelled in numbers as word has spread throughout the world of the remembrance. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten.

The Compassionate Friends and allied organizations are joined by local bereavement groups, churches, funeral homes, hospitals, hospices, children’s gardens, schools, cemeteries, and community centers. Services have ranged in size from just a few people to nearly a thousand.

Every year you are invited to post a message in the Remembrance Book

which will be available, during the event, at TCF’s national website.

 All allied bereavement organizations, churches, funeral homes,

hospice organizations, formal and informal bereavement groups are invited to join in the remembrance.


The Worldwide Candle Lighting gives bereaved families everywhere the opportunity to remember their child/children so their lights may always shine! 

The Grand Rapids Chapter of the Compassionate Friends, in a stewardship program with the Kent County Parks System and maintains a Memorial Garden at Wahlfield Park. The Park is located at 8 Mile Rd NW and M-37 (Alpine Ave). For more information, see the "Memorial Garden Page". Please feel free to stop by the park anytime. The most beautiful times of the year are spring and summer.

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