Christmas Candelight Service

MELINDA Thomas will always remember her little boy’s favourite phrase “all the much”, his sociable personality, enchanting smile and bright blue eyes.

Five years ago when the Rockhampton mum was only 23, her first born son Ben died when he was three.

Ben suffered from brain haemorrhages and had a problem with his lungs, but due to a lapse in time, the coroner couldn’t reveal the cause of death.

Since this tragic day, Melinda has had two other children, 22-month-old Ava and Jet, aged three months.

Melinda, 28, said she did it tough with the help of her mum and husband for four years until late last year when she found another form of support.

The Compassionate Friends Rockhampton has given her, and her family, assistance in different stages of their grieving.

Melinda was involved in the group’s Christmas Candlelight Remembrance Service last year for the first time and now the family have made the day, being held in Rockhampton tomorrow, a tradition for Ben.

The service honours and celebrates the lives of children of all ages who have died.

Organiser of the Rockhampton group Kate Beresford is encouraging families who have experienced the death of a child to come along.

“This will be a very special evening for bereaved parents and their families providing a space where our children can be acknowledged in a treasured and meaningful way,” Kate said.

She encouraged parents to invite family members and close friends.

Melinda said her mum motivated her to go to last year’s service, and even though she was hesitant at first, it’s become a special day that’s kept her going.

“We light candles and have submitted photos (of Ben) and a special song. There is a slideshow and our child’s name is written on a bauble to hang on the Christmas tree,” Melinda said.

Melinda said the fear of losing another child would never fade.

She said one of her favourite memories of Ben was when he said “all the much...” after she asked how much he loved her.

“He would hold his arms out as wide as he could. Now it’s something we have passed onto our babies,” she said.


WHAT: Xmas Candlelight Remembrance Service

WHEN: Tomorrow at 7pm

WHERE: St David’s Anglican Church

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