by Briana Sutherland
Families and residents gathered on Dec. 1 in the dining area of Guardian Angels in Elk River for the annual Memorial Tree Lighting ceremony.
Guardian Angels Elim Hospice has provided hospice services to 185 patients and their families in the past 12 months.
Hospice Director Linda Olson welcomed those who gathered. She reminded everyone who lost someone close to them to think about the stars in the sky and the lights on trees at Christmas time.
“Think of the lights as shining stars, shining bright forever and ever,” Olson said.
Chaplain Dwight Petersen delivered a message on the three ways to honor and remember those who have died during this past year. By honoring their beliefs and values, their life and legacy and allowing God’s healing to occur in their own lives, a person is able to grieve in a healthy manner.
“Remember that they made a difference, whether it had been great or small. The world is a richer place because of them,” said Petersen.
Names of patients who were served through the Elk River and Cambridge offices were read, and present family members came forward and accepted an ornament in their loved one’s memory.
After all names were read, some families and residents braved the cold outdoors for a few minutes to sing “Silent Night” as three trees next to their building were lit with lights. Two trees shone multi-colored lights while the center tree was lit with white lights in memory of the patients who died in the previous year.