Sharing a look back to move on
May 14, 2011
Looking backward can help move people forward.
That's why a 16th annual luminaria service of remembrance, hosted by Trinity Pathway Hospice, is so important, chaplain Lisa Gaston said.
It helps people grieve, heal and move on, she said.That includes Chaplain Gaston.
''It's been about a year and a half since my Mom died,'' she said.
But Chaplain Gaston's busy schedule hasn't left her with a lot of extra time to reflect about her mother's life, or talk too much about death and dying, she said.
Many other people find the same is true, which is why the luminaria service fills a large need, Chaplain Gaston said.
The service will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 25, at Bettendorf Christian Church, 3487 Towne Pointe Drive. The church is behind Lindquist Ford on Middle Road.
''What I like about the service is it gives people time to remember their loved ones,'' Chaplain Gaston said. ''This offers people a chance to talk about them, and a chance to visit again with the nurses and staff they had spent so much time with during the process.''
She said the service is ''powerfully moving,'' especially when names of lost loved ones are read aloud.
People attending the service will gather for a brief reception, followed by the service at dusk.
Luminarias will be lighted as names are read and pictures of lost loved ones will be displayed on a projection screen. Pictures may be emailed or mailed by Friday, May 20. Photos will be returned the night of the luminaria ceremony.
High-resolution digital photos may be emailed, with registration forms, to email@example.com. Hard copy prints and registration information may be mailed to Trinity Pathway Hospice, 106 19th Ave., Suite 101, Moline, IL 61265, attention Billie Terrell; or may be dropped off at the Pathway Hospice inpatient unit at Trinity Bettendorf.
For information about photo submissions or the event, contact Chaplain Gaston at (309) 373-2554 or GastonLO@ihs.org. Donations for future bereavement ceremonies also are welcome.
It has become an annual event for some people, hospice manager Angie Parks said.
The hospice's bereavement program has sent out 600 invitations to families that officials keep track of for 13 months after the death of a loved one, Ms. Parks said.
The service ''is more of a closure'' for a lot of people, she said. ''There's lots of tears, and I'm probably the biggest crier of them all.''
Yet, after all the tears have fallen, the people looking backward at the lives of their loved ones prepare to move forward, Chaplain Gaston said.
She became the hospice chaplain in March 2010, ''so this year I should know more of the people coming to it,'' and more of them will know her and the story of her mom.
Address: Blue Grass, Iowa.
Occupation: Pathway Hospice Chaplain, Trinity Health System.
Education: University of Illinois-Champaign; master of divinity degree, from Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, Calif.,ordained in the United Church of Christ 16 years ago.
Family: Husband, Lee; children, Eleanor, 20, Nathaniel 18, and Genevieve, 13.
Favorite Scripture: St. Paul's writings of how we are of one body and one spirit.
Favorite Biblical character I'd like to meet: Daniel.
Hobbies: Quilting, reading, gardening, traveling.
Peak experience: Going to Argentina with her family.
Pit experience: When her mom died.
One thing I feel strongly about: Eating locally grown food.
I wish I knew how to: Play the piano.
By Leon Lagerstam, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Rock Island Argus