Letter to the Editor,
On November 22 Joliet Area Community Hospice (JACH) held its 12th annual Lights of Love Ceremony at the Rialto Square Theatre with almost 600 in attendance. The program is held the evening before Thanksgiving to celebrate the lives of loved ones who have died as we approach the holiday season. My wife and I invited our friends Carol and Sandy Boland who had recently lost their husband/father, Michael Boland. The evening began with peaceful harp and violin music followed by an inspirational solo. Mary Sheehan, JACH CEO greeted guests with a reflection on hospice followed by an invocation by JACH Chaplain Donald Barrett. Families and guests were then invited to visit the stage and have their loved one’s name read while hanging an ornament in their memory on one of three evergreen trees. When completed, the trees were lit among falling snow while Music Therapist Diane Horne sang her original song “Told from Grace.” The most touching part of the evening took place when a beautiful memorial video tribute was played on the Rialto’s big screen. The ceremony concluded with the Joliet Fire Department Pipes and Drums rising from the orchestra pit and playing seasonal and inspirational music. Our guests Carol and Sandy were visually moved by the evening’s presentation. Hopefully everyone in attendance was reminded that having loved and been loved is perhaps the most wonderous reason to be thankful this season as all in attendance shared in the poem “For That I am Thankful” by Darcie Sims.
Kudos to the staff of professional and angel-like caregivers at Joliet Area Community Hospice who deal daily with end of life issues. If you are feeling lonely, sad and depressed this holiday season please feel free to contact the JACH Bereavement Department 815-740-4104 or visit the website www.joliethospice.org.