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Hospice holds luminary service to honor patients who passed away

By Grace Ditzler, KTVM Reporter, gditzler@ktvm.com
Published On: Dec 04 2013 09:48:14 PM MST
Updated On: Dec 04 2013 10:32:25 PM MST
BOZEMAN, Mont. -

The first holiday season spent after the death of a loved one can be difficult for families. So the Rocky Mountain Hospice hoped to help make it a little bit easier by hosting a luminary service to remember their patients who died in 2013.

On Wednesday night, families and staff at Rocky Mountain Hospice gathered in a special ceremony to remember their loved ones and patients who passed away this year. They read each name aloud and lit a candle in their honor.

"It was uplifting, like a release," said Kenneth Olson, an attendee. Olson lost his wife, Carrie, earlier this year. He told NBC Montana that spending the holidays without her for the first time will be tough.

"It had always been family for us," he said. "It will be different."

Denise and Jim Knight came to honor Denise's father, Joseph.

"This year will be different," Jim explained. "Dad won't be there, but we know he is having his best Christmas ever."

As candles lit up the room and those loved ones were remembered, the family members said they were moved, and the ceremony will help ease their pain during the holidays.

To Kenneth Olson, it helped him "to know that everything passes on, and to look forward to the future, and to think about the person you lost and what they meant to you."

Rocky Mountain Hospice holds their luminary service every December for all families and staff of former patients.