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Light Up a Life Honors Loved Ones

Community memorial service to be held this weekend

By Sydney Mook, The Dickinson Press, on Nov 30, 2017 at 9:25 p.m.

The holiday season is typically a time of joy and family get-togethers for many people, but for those who have lost a loved one, the holidays can be difficult. A community memorial service brings together people who have lost loved ones and gives them the chance to grieve together.

The annual Light Up a Life Community Memorial Service provides an opportunity for remembrance, reflection, healing and celebration of life through music, inspirational readings and scripture. The service is nondenominational and includes reading of the names of those who have been lost in hospice care over the past year.

"It is meant for the community as well as our hospice patients and families that we've had on for the last year," Wendy Baumgarten, director of CHI Health at Home - Home Health & Hospice, said. "... Everything is designed as a way to help people cope with the holidays and find some peace."

After the service there will be cookies and coffee available.

"It's a nice time for people to visit with one another, especially for when people are together and have a similar purpose of being there," Baumgarten said. "Everyone's there because they've had a loss in their life and they're trying to find healing."

This year's memorial service will be at the Hillside Baptist Church in Dickinson. Baumgarten said the service rotates each year from church to church in the community. The service will be from 2 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3, and is sponsored by CHI Health at Home - Home Health & Hospice. Those who attend the event can also get a memorial book and ornament.

The lights gleaming on the Light Up A Life tree at the memorial service and the evergreen on the west grounds of West River Community Center are symbolic of the continuing memory of loved ones. The lights serve as a reminder of the continuing care and supportive services to patients and families dealing with terminal illness.

"It's a nice avenue for people to be able to honor their loved ones," Baumgarten said.

Baumgarten said hospice care has been provided in Dickinson for decades.

"It provides a service in the community for people that want to die in their own home, but also we provide services within skilled nursing facilities and assisted living for people that have six months or less to live," she said. "It provides them a level of comfort in having their needs met. ... We want people to be comfortable in their death, and there's no reason for people to die with pain."

If you know someone who would like to remember a friend or a loved one through a memorial donation to the Heartland Hospice program, a donation can be made through CHI Health at Home — Home Health and Hospice by calling 701-456-4378 or stopping by their office at 986 Second Ave. W. in Dickinson.