SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -Sunday was the first night of Chanukah, as well as the first Sunday in Advent, both which are celebrations of light.
Hospice Savannah held their Tree of Light ceremony inside this year, honoring and remembering loved ones who have passed away with candles that represented the awakening of the light.
The light was more central to the ceremony than the tree this year. But both were outshined by the lives being represented by them at Hospice of Savannah’s 27th annual Tree of Light vigil.
“It’s important for us to have the opportunity for us to connect with our thoughts and feelings and memories and also to give expression to those with the stories we tell of our loved ones,” said Holland Morgan with Hospice Savannah.
During the commemoration, the names of loved ones who have passed were read aloud and grief counselors encouraged family members to share their stories so that they are never alone, an especially important practice at this time of year.
“We say that death may have ended a life, but it never ends our relationship and so this is one of those opportunities for people to come together and to remember and also to commemorate their loved one,” said Morgan.
“We really get a chance to tell stories of our loved ones, talk about our memories of the holidays and how they were special,” said Jamey Espina with Hospice Savannah. “And it teaches us how to live with loss.”
The ceremony was different for Espina this year. He lost his mother within the last year and could appreciate how much help is provided through the remembrance gathering.
“it was different,” said Espina. “It was a little harder this year and it really kind of brought home to me how important of a service this is, not only the memorial gathering and the tree of light, but all year long, providing berevement services to everyone in the community at no cost It just gave me a moment and an opportunity to just feel warm and fee connected by the presence of my mother.”
This is the 27th year for the Hospice Savannah Tree of Light ceremony.