While Christmas is a time of celebration for most families, for others it can be a time of despair.
Bayliff & Eley Funeral Homes held a memorial event at its location on Lincoln Highway, or State Route 501, to help families get by that first Christmas without a loved one.
“The first Christmas without a loved one is hard,” funeral director Dick Eley said. “We started this in hope of hope of helping them get through. Hopefully we can help with some of those families.
This year, approximately 100 families were memorialized, with approximately 90 families attending. A short service was officiated by the Revs. Mark Bauer and Matt Lee.
Eley said the event can be helpful to a lot of people.
“A lot of times with a funeral you have a lot of company and then it is over — then you are all alone,” Eley said. “This way a lot of families can share their grief and it can be emotionally uplifting.”
Each family is notified by mail of the memorial, but the event is open to others from the public as well. An engraved Christmas ornament in memory of each deceased loved one was given to each family.
The event has been held for three years and Eley said it has been well received.
“Hopefully this will be something the families can appreciate,” Eley said. “The event has been well-attended and the people seem to appreciate it. Our hope is to give them a service that will help them through Christmas.”