Everyone deals with grief differently. For some, it can be difficult to express feelings of loss.
But it’s still important to recognize those feelings, said Cross Timbers Hospice social work and bereavement coordinator Leigh Ann Papin.
On Thursday, Oct. 24, community members are invited to share in a Memorial Candle Lighting Ceremony centered around honoring the memory of lost loved ones. The ceremony will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Cross Timbers Hospice, located at 207 C St. NW in Ardmore.
Staff at Cross Timbers Hospice have helped individuals through terminal illnesses and feelings of loss regularly since 1981, but around five or six years ago the organization began extending a hand through the bi-annual ceremony, as well.
“We wanted to make it available to the community and not just to the families of people who were our patients,” Papin said. “We want it to be available to everyone out there because we think it’s important.”
Simply talking about one’s grief is sometimes not enough and the ceremony offers individuals another way to handle loss and celebrate the memory of their loved ones, she said.
When people walk in the door, they are asked to share the name of the person who has passed away, Papin said. The individual’s name is then written on a card and called during the ceremony, at which point a candle is lit in their honor.
While each candle is being lit, a local Chaplain will be discussing grief and loss and how it can help to share those feelings with others, Papin said. The crowd will also engage in a responsive reading about how their loved ones will be remembered, she said.
“It’s really neat. By the end, after everyone has come up, the end of that little part of the ceremony is very neat to see all of those candles glowing on the table — it’s just very impactful,” Papin said.
After all of the candles have been lit, individuals will have a chance to engage in conversation with others over food provided at the ceremony.
“A lot of times we need to express our feelings of loss, but it’s hard, especially after a little bit of time, to really find an avenue to do that,” Papin said. “It’s a way to still say ‘Hey, I’m grieving this person but also I love this person’ and recognize that special bond.”
For more information on the event, call Cross Timbers Hospice at 580-223-0655.