By Lynda Jensen
BUFFALO, MN The family of the late Madison Kautz of Cokato recently attended a candlelight vigil in Buffalo, said her grandma Kathy Kautz.
“It was so beautiful,” commented Kathy. The vigil was conducted at the retreat house of Christ the King along Buffalo Lake to comfort parents of those who are grieving for deceased children.
For the Kautz family, the vigil helped them get through their first Christmas since Madison died the day after her third birthday, May 6, 2009, from a rare form of brain cancer. She was the daughter of Amber Kautz and granddaughter of Larry and Kathy Kautz.
The service drew people from 19 different communities, from West Union to Blaine, commented organizer Margaret Randall.
During the program, about 100 names will be read aloud by parents who have lost a child, with each parent lighting a candle.
The candlelight ceremony is done worldwide, bringing together comfort to grieving parents. The candles burn for one hour, and is believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe.
The program creates a virtual 24-hour wave of light as it moves from time zone to time zone. Hundreds of formal candle lighting events are held and thousands of informal candle lightings are conducted in homes as families gather in quiet remembrance of children who have died, but will never be forgotten done via a group called Compassionate Friends.
The vigil was sponsored by Peterson Chapel of Buffalo, the Buffalo Hospital Foundation, and the Compassionate Friends of Rockford.