Scores of people, from young children to elders, began their holiday season by celebrating the memory of departed loved ones at a heartfelt Memorial presented by (HNC) on Sunday at the Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA).
HNC Executive Director Nerice Kaufman notes, “The holidays may evoke particularly intense feelings of grief, especially for those who have recently experienced a loss. Our loved ones leave a legacy. They live on through us; in our hearts, through our memories and stories, and in the celebration of their life at events such as this.”
Confiding that he suffered for years from post traumatic stress disorder, keynote speaker Sy Brenner, a World War II prisoner of war survivor, connected with those in attendance by candidly sharing his experiences and explaining that his coping mechanisms during the war could be useful for people grieving a loss. He said, “In the midst of terrible adversity, I somehow learned to maintain my sense of humor. Laughter helps a lot,” he noted, garnering smiles and nods of agreement from the audience.
A highlight of the afternoon was the poignant candle-lighting ceremony, during which bereaved attendees rose to light a candle in memory of their loved one. HNC’s Project Manager Yvette Williams, a noted gospel singer, performed “Wind Beneath My Wings” and “You Light up my Life.” Several people purchased custom-created crystal ornaments and gave monetary donations that will enable HNC, a nonprofit community hospice, to continue treating hundreds of terminal patients whose families will never be billed. To purchase an ornament or to learn more about HNC, please visit hospicenorthcoast.org or call 760-431-4100.
Press Release by HNC