(RI photo)

This is supposed to be the season of joy but for some Iowans, the Christmas holidays only remind them of a loved one they’ve lost.

Several Iowa communities are holding solemn services for those who are mourning a death in the past year. Amy Keller, with the Foster Funeral and Cremation Center in Webster City, is coordinating a memorial this weekend with several area churches.

“It doesn’t necessarily have to be within the last year. It can be any loss that you’ve had throughout your life, if you would like to come over to the service,” Keller says. “It’s not only just for humans, it can be for pets. The service here will be a service that’s going to be honoring and celebrating, remembering those that we have lost.”

Sarah Ostlund, faith formation director at the Trinity Lutheran Church in Webster City, says there will be a reading during the service of all of the names of those who are being remembered. “There’ll be an actual candle-lighting portion of this service so that we just reserve a space in time for our loved ones that we so desperately wish were still here with us,” Ostlund says, “and we’re missing them even more during this special time of the year.”

The impact of loss can be lessened when we realize we’re not alone in missing those who are gone, and Ostlund says the service is a way to join individuals together. Ostlund says, “Hopefully, we’ll have time to remember those people and share some memories and share some of the joys that we have, despite the sadness that we feel missing our loved ones.”

The service is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.  Sunday at the center with the lighting of luminaries and the ringing of bells.

(By Pat Powers, KQWC, Webster City)

Radio Iowa