Lighting the tree in remembrance of those who are no longer here. Good Samaritan Hospice celebrated the lives of loved ones through its annual “Love Light Tree” ceremony at Tanglewood Mall on Tuesday, December 4. Each branch of the Love Light Tree holds an ornament with the name of someone who is being remembered and honored. Anyone could donate $10 and receive a “love light” to hang on the tree. Each “love light” represents a person who is no longer here. The money from the donations allows Good Samaritan Hospice to continue to provide hospice care and grief support programs throughout Roanoke and New River Valleys and Smith Mountain Lake. This year marked seventeen years that Good Samaritan Hospice has held a Love Light Tree Dedication.
It was a touching ceremony filled with laughter, tears and love. Chick-Fil-A donated food for the event and Laura Pole and Greg Trifidio, both members of the band “Trifolkal,” sang and played traditional holiday music for the crowd. After the music, Sue Ranson, president of Good Samaritan Hospice, began the program with opening words of welcome saying, “every one of these ornaments represents healing.” Following Sue’s introduction, Marvin Barbre, Director of Spiritual Care at Good Samaritan, led a blessing saying, “we’re here about love, about hope… remembering your loved ones.” This was followed with the lighting of the tree by Keith Cosner. The event closed by greeting your neighbor and sharing words of thankfulness. After the event was over, the lights still twinkled from the tree. As people surrounded it looking for the names of their loved ones, I could see some had tears in their eyes. This was a wonderful and emotional ceremony with a significant message: how important it is to remember and honor those who are no longer here.
Information from Good Samaritan Hospice:
Good Sam is the only not-for-profit, community-based hospice in the area, and maintains the belief that anyone who qualifies and desires hospice care should receive that care, regardless of ability to pay. Memorial gifts, grants and programs like “Love Light Tree” insure Good Sam’s commitment to this belief.