Annual candlelight ceremony helps families of dead children grieve

Candlelight held to remember children passed too soon

By Garrett Brnger - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - More than 100 people gathered at the San Antonio Garden Center Sunday afternoon for a candlelight memorial ceremony for children who have died.

The Any Baby Can Center for Infant and Child Loss puts on the memorial every year. It's one of the services they offer to help support its clients and other grieving families in the community.

"It's a time to bring families together," said Michelle Ramirez, the center's case manager. "That way they know they're not alone."

About three dozen candles lit the stage after the somber ceremony -- some honoring multiple children. The candles were decorated and lit by their families or other people there to remember the children.

"Isn't that a beautiful light?" Ramirez asked the assembled families as the candles glowed at the front of the room. "Painful, but beautiful."

Alicia Salazar lost her infant daughter to SIDS in 2006, and has been coming every year since. She says the annual ceremony brings comfort.

"You're able to speak to other parents who have gone through the loss of a child," Salazar said. "And you know when I started going there in 2006 there was parents there that had been there, you know, years already and so it really helps."

Families had a chance to walk through the garden after the ceremony and reflect following the memorial. It was also a chance to talk with others who are going through the same thing.

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