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Families ‘lean on memories’ during memorial ceremony

December 11, 2018 GMT

The holidays are a joyous time, but can also be difficult especially to those who’ve lost loved ones.

With grief still heavy in their hearts, family members, team members and friends gathered at Heritage of Bel-Air for the annual Memory Tree ceremony Friday night.

In its fourth year, the Memory Tree ceremony is held in memory of all Heritage of Bel-Air residents that died this previous year.

Friday night’s event was a time to lean on each other, lean on faith and lean on memories.

“At Heritage of Bel-Air, it really is family taking care of family,” said Administrator Katie Frederick. “When a resident passes away, the team members share in the grief. The Memory Tree ceremony is emotional for everyone involved.”

After a warm welcome, an opening prayer and the reading of the poem, “Christmas in Heaven,” family members placed large, personalized ornaments on the Memory Tree as each resident’s name was called.

A bell rang in their memory.

The “Lord’s Prayer” was recited and then the group sang, “Silent Night,” accompanied on guitar by Jerry Hain and led by Gloria Nielson, both Heritage of Bel-Air team members.

Gathering for cookies and hot chocolate, families and friends shared stories about their loved ones and spoke of their favorite moments at Heritage of Bel-Air.

“We want to thank the families for sharing their loved one with us,” Frederick said. “We feel privileged to have been a part of their journey on this earth.”