Graveside ceremony for Candace marks new day for parents

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Candace Derksen’s parents woke up this morning and felt like a weight had been lifted, as though they were a little closer to forgiving Mark Grant for leaving their daughter to die 26 years ago.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/02/2011 (4199 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Candace Derksen’s parents woke up this morning and felt like a weight had been lifted, as though they were a little closer to forgiving Mark Grant for leaving their daughter to die 26 years ago.

About 30 friends and family gathered this morning around Candace Derksen’s grave in the Glen Eden cemetery to pray, read poems and offer words of support for the Derksens and words of absolution for Grant.

“This is a recommitment to love, to forgiveness, to life,” Wilma Derksen told those gathered. “We’re going to live.”

Wilma and Cliff Derksen share a smile after handing out chocolates to family and friends who attended a service honouring their daughter Candace Saturday morning at Glen Eden Cemetery.  

At the end of the informal ceremony, marked by sniffles and laughter alike, each person placed a white rose on Candace’s headstone, and the Derksens passed around chocolates as a token of thanks for the support they’ve had from friends and their faith.

“Take one even if you hate chocolate,” said Cliff Derksen to laughter.

Following a 26-year wait, a high profile trial and three days of jury deliberation, Mark Grant, 47, was convicted Friday evening of second-degree murder in Candace’s death.

The 13-year-old girl was grabbed off the street Nov. 30, 1984, while walking home from school, bound with rope and left to freeze to death inside a shed. Her body was found two months later after an exhaustive search that included hundreds of volunteers and dominated Winnipeg headlines then and for years after.

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