This Saturday, December 6th at 7pm, is the candlelight vigil at the Christmas Box Angel statue at the Salt Lake City Cemetery. This will be a special year, as it’s the 20th anniversary of the Christmas Box Angel statue and vigil.
Last year, our guest contributor Shari Elliott attended this vigil for the first time after losing her 15 year old son. (You can read her entire write-up on last year’s post.) Shari will be speaking at the vigil this year, and will share her story of losing a child.
On December 6, 1994, "The Christmas Box Angel" monument was placed and dedicated at 340 N Center Street in the Salt Lake City Cemetery. This monument serves as a grieving and remembrance place for all those that have lost a child. People place white lilies, pictures, roses, teddy bears, and other such objects at the monument site each time they visit.
Interesting Facts about The Christmas Box Angel:
- The Christmas Box book is dedicated to Sue, the author's little sister. She was stillborn when Richard Paul Evans was only two years old, and his mother felt tremendous grief over the loss of a child. As was custom with stillborn babies, Sue was never buried, and there was never a gravesite. The author believes this story came from Sue to him to help their mother heal her grief.
- The inspiration from the woman in the story came from a real-life woman who would go to the Salt Lake City Cemetery and grieve over the loss of her child. Her name and identity is unknown.
- The Christmas Box Angel monument was constructed by the renowned sculptor Ortho Fairbanks, and his son Jared Fairbanks. Ortho and his wife had lost a child, and found great significance in the statue. They donated much of their time to complete the monument.
- The monument was financed from proceeds of the book.
- All of the publisher's and author's royalties from the printing of a special leather edition of the book go to charity.
- The face of the angel on the monument is modeled after Richard Paul Evans' second daughter, Allyson.
- There is much symbolism in the statue, including the word "HOPE" found in the angel's right wing. The reason the arms of the angel are outstretched are to welcome all that come to it, and to be lifted into the arms of a loving parent.