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Christmas Box Angel helps those who are grieving

CHAZY In the book "The Christmas Box," by Richard Paul Evans, a grieving mother finds solace over the loss of her child at the foot of an angel statue. For the last five years, parents in the North Country have had a Christmas Box Angel of their own to help them through their grief. The idea to bring the angel statue to Riverview Cemetery in Chazy started when town resident Pam Moser read Evans' book herself. I have so many friends who have lost children, said Mrs. Moser, and I wanted to do something for them. Her idea was met with enthusiasm and within 10 months, the group had raised the $20,000 dollars needed to install the bronze statue. We had originally intended to put the angel in Sacred Heart Cemetery, on an area where childrens bones have been found, possibly as part of a very old childrens burial ground, explained Mrs. Moser, but both I and another organizer, Diane Trombly, had premonitions that it should be in Riverview Cemetery. Its good because its nondenominational. Each Dec. 6, the group holds a candlelight ceremony for those who have lost a loved one. At this years ceremony, the fifth since the angel was first dedicated in 2003, nearly 100 people attended. Following the ceremony, participants were encouraged to lay a white flower at the base of the angel in remembrance of a loved one as Chazy Town Supervisor Staub Spiegel sang his song, If I Could Have Something for Christmas. Amy House, Chazy, knows first-hand how the Christmas Box Angel can help grieving parents. Fourteen years ago, she lost her stepson, Scott House, in a car accident. I raised him for 10 years as a mother, Mrs. House remembered. I read 'The Christmas Box' after he passed. When Pam approached me about the angel statue I knew about it and wanted to help. In the years since Scotts death, Mrs. House has visited the angel frequently. It is in the cemetery where Scott is buried, she said. I visit him often, and I always go to the angel to sit. The angel gives us another place to go and reflect. Mrs. House stresses we dont get over our grief, but we can get through it. Furthermore, we all grieve differently, especially men and women, with men frequently holding it in. She believes the angel has also helped her husband, Sherb House, to work through his grief. He helped run the electrical to illuminate the angel at night and make sure that the lights on nearby Christmas tree are just right. He needed to work through his grief with his hands, she said. Finding something to do helps. The vigils can also help parents to work through their grief. Vigils show that we are not alone in our grief, said Mrs. House. They bring us together.

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