CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The nonprofit Bridges of Hope held their 35th annual Community Candlelight Vigil on Sunday to support families who are navigating the challenging terrain of grief after losing a loved one.
News 2 was there in Hampton Park as that ceremony took place.
Lowcountry community members came together to support one another and honor their loved ones who have died.
“We are mourning the deaths of grandparents,” Bridges of Hope Executive Director Jonathan Wright said, “mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, children and friends.”
Wright says losing a close friend or family member can leave someone shattered and Sunday’s vigil is meant to help with their grief journey.
“Community rituals like this help us pick up the pieces,” he said, “reassemble those pieces and create a mosaic that is painfully, and yet beautifully, our own.”
Following a music selection, candles held by everyone in attendance were lit.
“Let us remember as we hold our light,” one speaker said, “that love is the beacon in the darkest night. And though shadows may fall, and challenges come, we’ll face them with courage united as one.”
Bridges of Hope volunteer Gwen Rodgers’ closing message to the audience was not to take life for granted and continue honoring their lost loved one to make sure their life is not in vain.
“Expect to live,” Rodgers said, “expect to love and hope again, by loving them even in death to live out your purpose.”
Several luminaries dedicated to those who died lined the Hampton Park Lagoon during Sunday’s ceremony as well.