Over 130 members of the community spent time remembering their loved ones during EverHeart Hospice’s Second Annual A Time of Remembrance-Luminaria Memorial Drive-Thru held in December. What started as a safe way to allow loved ones to remember their loved ones during the height of Covid-19 in 2020 has turned into a beautiful new tradition to look forward to each holiday season.
Sarah DePoy, the Bereavement Coordinator at EverHeart Hospice and organizer of the event, shared, “It warms my heart to see everyone come out to A Time of Remembrance. I was handing out our gifts at the end of the drive-thru, and hearing the thank yous and words of gratitude from the attendees was overwhelming. Knowing that our evert is helping them work through the healing process of their grief is truly touching.”
This year was the first time Beverly Baltes, Volunteer Coordinator at EverHeart, helped with the luminaria.
Though she wasn’t sure what to expect, she was still overtaken by surprise at the visceral response she experienced. Thinking of the lost lives represented by each glowing luminaria was heartbreaking- each one holding the place of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, and friends.
“When helping someone find the luminaria of their loved one and seeing the light of remembrance on their faces as they recalled last words spoken, the last embrace, that last look…my heart was overwhelmed.”
The event also included an homage to Veteran patients, with a special patriotic display of American Flags lining the luminarias and a Veteran volunteer on duty to show his respect for the lost Veterans.
Beverly recalls the emotion felt that evening.
“Whenever I looked at the volunteer, Richard Hyatt, himself a Veteran, standing at attention, holding the large American flag, standing vigil over the luminaria of the veterans, I could hold back the tears no longer. This event will be one of those wonderful memories that will stay with me for a lifetime.”
A video will be released in the coming weeks highlighting the event for those unable to attend or for individuals wanting a look back on the night. A special thanks goes to Nathan Leatherman of Captured Video & Photography, volunteering his time to record the evening. We’d also like to thank Wayne HealthCare, all individual donors, the Greenville Fire and Police Departments, and all EverHeart staff members and volunteers who helped with this event.
For more information on bereavement support that EverHeart Hospice offers to patients, families, and anyone in the community, visit www.everhearthospice.org or contact a team member at 800-417-7535.