Channeling sorrow to help others at Kentville candle lighting service

John Decoste
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“It’s hard, but people need to speak out more. That’s what I’m about,” says Bridgetown resident Jillian (Coxhead) Atwell.

On Dec. 21, a candle lighting ceremony took place on Burgher Hill in Kentville in memory of Atwell’s dad, Mike Coxhead, and other suicide victims from our area and beyond.

Mike Coxhead passed away Nov. 29, just one of what Atwell says are at least 38 suicide victims in this region alone over the past two years.

“And that,” she points out, ”is the ones we know about, or who have been identified.”

As part of the event, Atwell read a list of names of the suicide victims she was aware of, and whose names had been passed on to her.

There was singing, refreshments and those in attendance were encouraged to light candles in memory of deceased loved ones and family members.

Nearly 90 people braved uncertain weather to attend the event, including Kings North MLA John Lohr.

Mike Coxhead lived in Kentville, and Atwell was born and grew up here, which is why the service was held in Kentville, but it was meant to be a regional event.

“It’s really sad, the number of people there are, just in our region,” whose lives should be remembered, and whose families need support, she said.

The candle lighting ceremony was open to all, regardless of whether they had a loved one or family member who had been lost to suicide.

“Everyone is welcome, and especially those who are missing a loved one this holiday season. People need to know they’re not alone, and that they have support.”

She was happy with the turnout, saying, “it was great to see so many people.” The weather had a negative impact in some ways, “but we did our best.”

She hopes to hold similar events into the future.

See additional shots from the event at KingsCountyNews.ca

 

Geographic location: Kentville, Bridgetown

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  • Jillian Coxhead(Atwell)
    December 26, 2013 - 09:44

    Thank you everyone who came out december 21st. meant alot to see so many show up regardless of the weather. Merry Christmas to all of you, Thank you

  • Jillian Coxhead(Atwell)
    December 26, 2013 - 09:42

    Thank you everyone who came out december 21st. meant alot to see so many show up regardless of the weather. Merry Christmas to all of you, Thank you