Hospice ceremony honors family members

Published 9:02 am Thursday, December 22, 2011


The inaugural Christmas dedication service by Hospice of Huntington turned a bare Christmas tree in the lobby of the county courthouse into a celebration of the memory of loved ones past.

A week ago, the Hospice organization conducted a special service to allow those in Lawrence County to place a paper candle in remembrance of their loved ones who went through the hospice program this past year.

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This was the first time for the Huntington organization to have the service in Lawrence County.

“We had a lovely dedication program,” Shelly Betz, marketing director of Hospice of Huntington, said. “They were there to honor the memory of someone they lost. We encouraged everyone who was there to fill out a candle and put it on the tree.”

Hospice’s bereavement counselors conducted the service that included inspirational readings and advice on coping mechanisms for the holidays.

“It was a very emotional experience for the ones who were there because they lost someone,” Betz said.

Those who attended the service were also encouraged to fill out additional candles in remembrance of other loved ones.

“They had other people they wanted to remember,” Betz said.

The ceremony was part of a continuing effort by Hospice to bring its services into Lawrence County.

Starting the first of the year there will be a major effort to recruit residents in the county to join Hospice’s volunteer program.

“So our patients have somebody within their community who are assigned to them,” Betz said.

Anyone interested in volunteering with Hospice, can contact Lisa Floyd, volunteer coordinator, at 304-529-4217 or lfloyd@hospiceofhuntington.org.

There will be volunteer training classes in March and April. The tree with its paper candles will remain in the courthouse through the Christmas holiday.