Emotional Worldwide Candle Lighting Ceremony Touches West Orange Residents

9a3ef0da7f524b43429b_DSCF1828.JPG
The Candles of Remembrance: one for Grief, Courage, Memory, Love, and Hope, are lit. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
e955bcbf758ef2e6d6af_DSCF1823.JPG
Peter Renwick speaks about the ceremony, his brother, and Nikhil. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
aeaf247ffb43bacc3fa3_DSCF1831.JPG
An emotional Sangeeta and Sunil Badlani speak about their son Nikhil. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
a7dadb5ad9973e595da6_DSCF1830.JPG
Anay Badlani, Nikhil's brother. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
6fd079ed07745ece322f_DSCF1829.JPG
Joanne Pollara speaks of her son that passed away in 2005. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
728e206f1682b796d286_DSCF1836.JPG
Nikhil Badlani. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
d084b6265fe9fb1ff588_DSCF1835.JPG
At the end of the ceremony, floating candles were lit and placed on Degnan Pond. Credits: Cynthia Cumming
9a3ef0da7f524b43429b_DSCF1828.JPG

WEST ORANGE, NJ - In a deeply emotional Candle Lighting Ceremony this evening at the Toby Katz Center, the Nikhil Badlani Foundation sponsored the annual Compassionate Friends Candle Lighting, honoring the memory of children that have died.

A standing room only crowd filled the Lake Room as the Ceremony began. The Candle Lighting occurs simultaneously around the world, acknowledging the memory of loved children that died too young.   Peter Renwick opened the ceremony, speaking of candles as 'lights of love' that transform 'darkness into light and despair into hope'.  In speaking of the children that have passed, Renwick commented that as we come together to remember them, in that rebirth, that 'they are our children now'.

 Prakash Mamtaney, Uncle of Nikhil Badlani, introduced the lighting of the Candles of Remembrance, each candle signifying a different component of the process: Grief, Courage, Memory, Love, and Hope.

Sign Up for E-News

Sunil Badlani, Father of Nikhil, read a poem called "And You're Still Here," touching upon the reflection of joyous time spent together and the pain that the reality of tragedy brings.  Candles were lit around the room as the West Orange community listened to parents, siblings, and friends share poems and tributes about the passing of their loved ones.  Sangeeta Badlani, overcome with emotion as she spoke of her son, was joined by her husband as she stood with tears in her eyes and softly said of Nikhil, 'You will never be forgotten'.  Joanne Pollara, Principal of Pleasantdale School, shared about the death of her son in 2005.  Peter Renwick, close friend of the Badlanis, shared that  his last memory of Nikhil was the sound of Nikhil practicing a beautiful piece of music on the piano as it carried from his window.

The community then went outside in the misty evening to place floating candles in Degnan Pond.

The crowd was filled with relatives, friends, and supporters of the Badlani family, as well as other families that have lost loved ones.  Mayor Parisi, Councilpersons Sue McCartney and Jerry Guarino, and BOE member Michelle Casalino also attended the touching ceremony.  

In speaking with Ms. Pollara, she noted that this time of the year is especially difficult for families that have lost children.  She said that "People are afraid to talk to you and ask you how you're doing.  They don't want to upset you or make you cry.  But what they don't realize is, you cry anyway.  I miss my son every day."

While it is emotionally wrenching to imagine the depth of pain that is felt by those that lose children, the support of a caring West Orange Community, filled with residents young and old, was a comfort and encouragement that strengthened everyone there.  Tonight's ceremony represented the heart and soul of the West Orange community.  Though deeply wounded, together, we all move forward and light a candle to curse the darkness.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

West Orange

Local Children Invited to Register for Essex County Summer Camps

February 19, 2018

WEST ORANGE, NJ – Children of all ages are invited to participate in spring and summer camp opportunities at the Essex County Turtle Back Zoo, Essex County Codey Arena and the Essex County Environmental Center.

The zoo has several weeklong camp adventures that will introduce children to the extraordinary world of animals, nature and science. Campers and their parents/guardians are ...

Game of Thrones: A Definitive Ranking of Seasons 1-7

Groundhog Day. The day a tiny mammal’s shadow tells us when winter will come to an end. Me? I prefer my weather forecast in the form of a white raven (the telltale changing of seasons in Westeros).

For a few days, rumors spread that Game of Thrones will not return for its final season until April 2019, and while it was clarified that the April return date was likely a false rumor, HBO ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_ebeb90e00b2da8ed5088_capture

Thu, February 22, 12:00 PM

Marriot Courtyard, West Orange

BIZ 2.0 WORKSHOPS - Lunch & Learn | Presented by ...

Business & Finance Food & Drink

Carousel_image_f1e8b21af9d26c31d2e7_unnamed__8_

Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

West Orange High School (Tarnoff Cafeteria), West Orange

44th Annual Orange West Orange UNICO Sports ...

Arts & Entertainment Education

Carousel_image_f7d9574673b2c2041627_unnamed__4_

Sun, February 25, 12:00 PM

AMC Essex Green, West Orange

The 2018 West Orange Classic Film Festival

Arts & Entertainment

Brrr, It’s Old! Come Inside the West Essex YMCA to Explore Summer Camp Fun

February 7, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — While the thermometer may not budge above 40 degrees, the summer planning season is here. Families are invited to a summer camp information session at the West Essex YMCA from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

Throughout the summer, the West Essex YMCA runs five development-appropriate programs for children ages 3 1/2 to 15, building self-esteem, confidence ...

NJ Governor Signs Executive Order to Fly Flags at Half-Staff to Recognize Parkland Florida Victims

February 20, 2018

New Jersey Governor Phillip D. Murphy signed Executive Order No.1 on Monday ordering the flag of the United States of America and the Flag of the State of New Jersey to be flown at half-staff to recognize and mourn the passing of the victims in Parkland, FL.

The order is for all state offices, agencies and municipalities, including schools for Tuesday, Feb. 20.

Let the Games Begin

I am truly awed by the Olympics.  Watching these superb young athletes on TV inspires me to renew my membership to the gym and pursue my lifelong dream of taking home the gold.  

 

The problem is that in my deluded head, I can see actually see myself standing atop the podium.  I am wrapped in a puffy designer ski coat with a huge piece of bling slung around my neck ...

In the Driver's Seat

Honey, I am going to take the Roadster out for a quick spin around the sun. I’ll be back in a few million years.

 

That’s nice dear. While you are out, could you pick up a gallon of milk?

 

In what has to be the greatest road trip of all time and space, Elon Musk, the visionary inventor, engineer, and billionaire investor loaded his very own red Tesla ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...