(Rainbow Hospice submission) Each year, Rainbow Hospice Care offers a spring memorial service to honor the memory of those that passed away over the last year. The program format changed last year to a virtual service to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions and remains virtual for this year. Even though the program is mostly geared towards family and friends of former Rainbow patients, all are invited to watch and participate in the memorial.
“Because so many were unable to have a funeral for their loved one, or the funeral was much smaller and limited because of the pandemic, we thought it would be helpful to offer a memorial ritual to give those who are grieving a simple opportunity to remember and honor their person,” said Rainbow Hospice Care Bereavement Counselor, Laura Wessels.
This year’s theme is, “These Stones will be an Enduring Memorial,” and reflects on the lasting impact that a loved one has made on all the lives they have touched. Viewers can also participate in a stone ritual of remembrance to honor their loved one’s life with Wessels and Rainbow Bereavement Counselor Hilary Furnish.
“Just as our memories of our loved one remain, so a stone remains. The ritual is a way to claim how the bereaved will carry their loved one with them into the rest of their lives,” Wessels said.
This year’s service was filmed outside in the prayer labyrinth at the Rainbow Hospice Care Inpatient Center in Johnson Creek.
“It’s a place where one can go for quiet and pay attention to one’s grief,” Wessels said. “Hilary and I thought it would be an especially appropriate setting for the service.”
The public can watch the event on Rainbow’s YouTube channel. The service will air beginning on Saturday, May 22 and will be available for some time.