When you have lost a loved one the first birthday, anniversary, or holiday season can be a reminder of the loss you have experienced. As the day gets closer and closer instead of bringing warmth and excitement it can bring back emotions that can be hard to deal with, and you can’t wait for the day to be over.
In 1996 we started looking for a way to help families try and ease the pain a little. Dan and I attended a seminar that was offering programs to present to families, and to the community, to help and ease the pain of loss. The Holiday Memorial Tree program was presented to us and there was not any doubt that this was the program that we would like to offer.
After the first Memorial Tree program we could tell that this was the right program for our community. People that attend were so thankful to be at a gathering place where everyone was there for the same reason. Where people could come to one place, with people that are experiencing the same emotions, that everyone understood the same feelings and yes it is okay to shed some tears. We could see after the first Memorial Tree Program that we made the right decision and that this program would now be a yearly program.
The Memorial Tree sits in our foyer with over 3,000 white lights on it. It is covered with glass angels that have the names of the family member that we took care of. We encourage family members to come in the week before the service and place the ornament on the tree so they know exactly where it is. Family members are welcome to come and pick the ornament up the week before Christmas if they would like so they can put it on there tree at home. For those families’ that choose not to pick it up the ornament will remain on our tree until the second Sunday in January. At that time the ornament will be taken off of the tree and it can either be mailed or someone from the family is welcome to stop by and pick it up.
The Memorial Tree service is held the first Sunday of December in our chapel at 800 Park Drive in Lake Geneva. The service starts at 4 p.m. and features local clergy, music, and the lighting of the Memorial Tree. After the lighting of the tree there will be a time for fellowship and refreshments.
If you have any questions about the Memorial Program please don’t hesitate to call us at 262-248-2031. We will be happy to answer any questions you have.