For each candle that was lit, a loved one was remembered and honored at the Chisholm Trail Hospice Memorial and Candle Lighting Service.
About 30 people attended the event on Thursday evening at the First Presbyterian Church and though most were strangers to one another, they were all brought together for a common reason. They were there to honor a family member or friend or other loved one who has passed on.
“Life is precious and often thought of as too short,” said Glen McGee, Hospice chaplain. “Everyone here has had the experience of losing a loved one and it is never easy.”
Quanah Cox, who had a big impact on many people in the community during his life and passed away July 2012, was one of the names read. It was his wife Mary Frances Cox who lit a candle for him.
Mary Frances was one of the instrumental people in getting the Hospice program started in Stephens County in 1983 and she said her husband was always right there by her side in that effort.
“Quanah was not a Hospice patient but he was its biggest supporter,” she said. “I wanted to remember and honor him tonight.”
Others also chose to share a bit about the person they were honoring that evening after they had lit their candle. Many had kind words to say to the several Hospice workers in attendance as well.
“I want to thank you for what you do for the patients,” said Rick Buchanan, who lit a candle for his brother. “It is so selfless.”
It is not just the families and friends who have lost loved ones who gain comfort from the service, but the Hospice staff as well.
“It gives us a chance to stop and reflect because we don’t lose the patients like the families do but we do lose them,” said Toni Alvarado, director. “Also, many of the families, we haven’t seen since the funeral, so we get to see them and how they are doing.”
These services are held twice a year to help begin or continue the healing process for families going through grief. They are free and open to anyone.
“I hope it has been a blessing to you and has encouraged you,” said McGee. “Remember, grief is something you go through, not a place where you live.”