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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Light a candle for every child who has died

Kathy Mitchell Marcy Sugar Creators Syndicate

Dear Annie: The holiday season can be extremely difficult for families that are mourning the death of a child. What is normally a festive time becomes one of emptiness and sadness.

I’m writing to make the many bereaved families that read your column aware of a way they can join together with others in honoring and remembering all those children who graced our lives but died too soon. The Worldwide Candle Lighting, sponsored by The Compassionate Friends and its nearly 600 U.S. chapters, is held around the globe at 7 p.m. local time on the second Sunday in December. We ask everyone to light a candle for one hour, creating a 24-hour wave of light in remembrance of all children who have died, no matter the cause or age.

Hundreds of formal services will be held Sunday by chapters of The Compassionate Friends in the United States and worldwide, as well as allied organizations, funeral homes and churches. Your readers can check for a local candle lighting by visiting The Compassionate Friends national Web site at or by calling toll-free (877) 969-0010. Anyone who is unable or does not wish to attend a formal service is welcome to light a candle at home. Also available at our Web site is a remembrance book where those visiting can post a memorial message in remembrance of the child who died.

It is my organization’s hope that this special day will help make the holidays a little easier for bereaved families in this country and around the world by remembering our children so that their light may always shine. – Pat Loder, Executive Director, The Compassionate Friends/USA

Dear Pat Loder: Thank you for once again giving us the opportunity to ask our readers to participate in the Worldwide Candle Lighting in remembrance of all the children who have died. Please, readers, light a candle on Sunday at 7 p.m., and remember every child who is no longer with us.

Dear Annie: I love your column and value your opinion. I just found out that my fiance of four years has been “double dipping” with an old girlfriend.

Since he has been lying and cheating this entire time, should I give him another chance? I did tell him that if he broke off all contact with “her” and went to therapy, we would talk about it. Well, he has done neither.

As I reread what I have written, I think I should give him the boot and run. Guess I simply need some validation from you. – Joanie

Dear Joanie: We’re validating as fast as we can. If the guy refuses to be faithful now, he’s not likely to be faithful later, and you’re lucky to know about it before making a lifetime commitment. We hope that boot has a stiletto heel. Good riddance.

Dear Annie: Recently, my kid sister neglected to invite me to her retirement party, although she invited the rest of the family. When I questioned why, she blew up at me, saying I had no right to ask and then said she didn’t care to discuss it.

Since then, she has refused to talk to me, let alone explain. She will not accept my apologies or any other means of communication ventured. We have always been very close. Do you have any suggestions for remedy of the situation? – California

Dear California: Since your sister won’t speak to you, ask someone else in the family to act as an intermediary. Make sure that person lets your sister know you are sorry about the rift and would like to mend it, if she will tell you how. Let’s hope it is all a misunderstanding that can be cleared up quickly so you can be close again.

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