By Martha B. Jacob –
It was a very solemn and emotional time, as the names of more than 60 people, were read aloud one by one showing honor, in memory of or in appreciation of, during the Dec. 2, Brown County Health and Wellness Foundation’s “Celebration of Lights.”
The event was held at the Brown County Fairgrounds and was emceed by Dennis Lewis. The event which was organized by the Celebration of Lights Committee included Gerry Schumacher, Dale and Doug Dyer, Ralph Jennings, Lorie and Gary Lane, Dennis Lewis, Lori McKenney, Frieda and Jim Myers, Rev. Jim Settles and Dan and Teri Baumann.
Schumacher, past chair of the Brown County Health and Wellness Foundation and chair of the committee, welcomed a crowd of approximately 50 people.
“I think this is a really nice event to have every year,” Schumacher said. “I applaud all the people who helped make this all possible. It’s been a good team effort and I’m proud to be a part of the team.”
An invocation was offered by Rev. James Settles followed by a finger-food meal and drinks.
Music was offered by the Sardinia Methodist Church Praise Team.
Chaplain David Wirth with Hospice of Hope spoke briefly to those who were in attendance and reminded them of why the Celebration of Lights was important to so many.
“I have been serving as a Hospice Chaplain for almost 17 years,” Wirth began, “In my years I’ve read a lot of books on grieving and I’d like to share what I’ve learned from them and from my experiences. I want to talk a little about how people get through loss. Grieving is hard work. Once people have gone through a big loss, they are just tired and they’re weary, because it takes something out of you. It’s just topsy-turvy.”
Wirth shared an experience he once had where he learned that women who grieve share their feelings more than men which helps them grieve healthier than men.
He described a women who had lost her husband and she was asked at a grief meeting what the best part of her week and the worst part of her week was.
“The woman answered my question by saying… ‘Well, the best part of my week and the worst part of my week are the same’, Wirth said. “She explained to me that her grandson came over to her house and she reached down to hug him. She said it was a very sweet moment, filled with joy. But she said that at that same moment she was aware that her husband wasn’t there to enjoy it.”
Wirth went on to talk about how grief effects different people differently and how events like the “Celebration of Lights” was such a good thing to have, allowing people to acknowledge their loved ones.
The light on the trees at the entrance of the fairgrounds were turned on as well as a tree in the building. The celebration ended with a prayer by Rev. Settles.