Worldwide candle lighting service set for Dec. 14

Published 10:48 am Wednesday, December 10, 2014


When Tammy Warren died suddenly at the age of 48 in December 2012, it was devastating to her mother, Mary.

“I lost my mother, my dad, my brother and my sister, but it was nothing compared to Tammy’s death,” Mary said. “We were best friends. When a mother loses a child, it’s a hurt. You live with it, you think about it every day.”

Tammy was a Head Start teacher at the Children’s Center. She was lovingly known as “Mama Warren” to the staff. She lit a fire beneath her fellow teachers to do the right thing and loved the children she taught for 23 years. When she died, Rosalind Cutchins, who leads the bereavement group, invited Mary to the Parent Bereavement Group, which meets at the Texie Camp Marks Children’s Center every third Monday of the month. Mary decided to see what the group was all about.

“The support group helped me deal with the loss of Tammy. Talking to other people and seeing that they are going through some of the same things I am going through helped,” Mary said. “The fellowship with each other, it’s like I have another family. And, I feel like I can help someone else, too.”

“Mary is a true example of one who gives and receives with grace. Tammy’s smile is remembered each time Mary walks in the room,” said Rosalind.

The bereavement group also holds a candle lighting ceremony in December to remember children who have died. Mary has attended that ceremony, and suggested that those who have lost children also attend at least once or twice.

“I really enjoy the candle lighting ceremony. It feels like I am communicating with Tammy and that her spirit is here,” Mary said.

This year’s Worldwide Candle Lighting Day of Remembrance for Children will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14 at the Workforce Development Center, 100 N. College Drive, Franklin. The event is free of charge. Those in attendance may bring a memory item such as a picture or toy to place by your candle and take your candle home and light it during the holiday season and when you’re missing your child.

The next meeting of the Parent Bereavement Group is 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 19, 2015 at the Texie Camp Marks Children’s Center, 700 Campbell Avenue in Franklin.