Heartlite Hospice to hold memorial service

Heartlite Hospice will host its annual Memorial Service this Thursday, Oct. 14, from 7 to 8 p.m. on the square in downtown Scottsboro.

Heartlite Hospice care hosts a memorial service each year. This year, John Baty will begin reading the names of the deceased patients at 7 p.m. The names read will include all patients under their care from December 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021.

In years past, Heartlite Hospice staff said the annual memorial was a time to mourn, both for the families and the staff who grew close during their time spent together. Bereavement Coordinator Roger Haney said hospice staff stay in contact with families for a year after the passing of a loved one. Last year saw many changes to the process, including having to reschedule the 2020 memorial service.

“There was no closure. It was like nothing we have experienced before,” Haney said.

This year, they hope to honor the lives of those patients and fellowship with families. Haney said it is an extremely important event for the staff, families and communities as a way to help the healing process.

What is a Memorial Service?

A memorial service is a ceremony for memorializing someone who has passed away and it takes place after the body has been buried or cremated. Memorial Services can take place any time after the death, from a week to a year, or sometimes even longer. Thursday’s memorial service is open to the families, caregivers and community.

The candle symbolizes light in the darkness of life, especially individual life, illumination; it is the symbol of holy illumination of the spirit of truth. Lit in times of death, they signify the light in the next world, and they represent Christ as the light. This year’s memorial for caregivers, family and community will be an outdoor trail along the sidewalk of luminaries in front of our office in Downtown Scottsboro.

Who is invited to the annual memorial service?

Literally, everyone. Since the service will be outside this year there’s not a limit on how many people can attend.

In addition to this year’s memorial, they will also celebrate Stephanie Arnold, RN as the recipient of the Gayle Berry Award. The Gayle Berry Award is presented to a registered nurse that displays outstanding service and commitment to their patients and coworkers. Internal staff votes on this award and this year’s voting resulted in a landslide vote for Stephanie Arnold. Stephanie will receive a plaque the night of the memorial presented to her by the family of Gayle Berry and the administrator of Heartlite Hospice Care, Terri Matthews, RN.

If Thursday, Oct. 14 is canceled due to weather/rain it will automatically default to the rain date on Thursday, Oct. 21, same time, same place.

Heartlite Hospice offers end of life services in Jackson, DeKalb, Limestone, Madison and Marshall Counties. For more information, please contact their office at 256-259-1754.

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