Jan. 14, 2019
Annual Oaklawn Hospice Memorial planned Feb. 2 at Maple Grove Bible Church
MARSHALL – The annual Oaklawn Hospice Memorial will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 2, at Maple Grove Bible Church, 18511 L Drive South.
The nondenominational memorial service is being organized to allow families and friends to gather to remember loved ones cared for through Oaklawn Hospice.
“Those who attend may light a candle in memory of their loved one at the front of the sanctuary,” said Lisa Morgensai, the organization’s bereavement coordinator. “All are welcome to attend, no matter how much time has elapsed since the loved one’s passing.”
To ensure that a loved one’s name is included in the program, participants are asked to contact Morgensai by Jan. 25 at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Morgensai at (269) 789-3939, extension 3118.
Up to four photographs of a loved one may be submitted for display at the time the person’s name is read, Morgensai said. Photos may be submitted by e-mail or surface mail by sending them to Morgensai at Oaklawn Hospice, 13444 Preston Drive, Marshall, MI 49068.
The event is expected to last approximately one hour and will feature music, readings of tributes and poetry submitted by family members in memory of loved ones, as well as a reading of the names of the deceased loved ones being honored.
Light refreshments will be served after the ceremony. If weather and other conditions permit, a dove release will be conducted. Parking will be available in the church’s parking lot.
“This is an opportunity to honor your loved one in a meaningful ritual,” Morgensai said. “Rituals are just one way that we can mourn our loved ones.
“There is benefit to mourning and not just grieving our losses,” she said. “Our grief experiences can be held inside and not expressed. Mourning allows us to take some of that grief and express it outside of ourselves in meaningful ways.”
Morgensai said several past participants have written to express their gratitude to the organization.
“Thank you and your wonderful Hospice associates for the beautiful memorial service,” one letter-writer expressed. “The music, the words, the doves, all served as fitting tributes to the many loved ones.”
Another wrote as follows: “I found the service to be simple and deeply respectful of those who have passed and of those of us who mourn them. The dove release and the candle lighting were especially moving.”
Oaklawn Hospice works to meet the physical, emotional, spiritual and social needs of persons with life-limiting conditions and their families. The organization’s bereavement services include the annual memorial, monthly bereavement support mailings, grief support groups, monthly lunch group and a lending library featuring grief support books.
The organization’s bereavement services are made available free of charge for at least 13 months after the death of a loved one.