Memorial to honor loved ones

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By Kirsten Laskey

Saying goodbye to a loved one who has died is not an easy thing to do, but the Los Alamos Visiting Nurses offers some assistance.

From 1-3 p.m. Nov. 2, the Los Alamos Visiting Nurses will host its annual Memorial Service at Fuller Lodge.

During the service, the names of people who were cared for at the organization are read aloud. As the names are announced, a rose is placed in a vase. This year, 140 names will be read.

Families are encouraged to bring a memento or a picture to the ceremony.

“It’s a very nice, simple service,” Sarah Rochester, executive director, said. Families are encouraged to take the flowers home, but any that are left over are given to patients who need to be cheered up.

Additionally, staff’s family members, patients and former patients will perform music.

“After the service, we have the opportunity for everybody to visit over food ee it’s a nice sharing time,” Sarah Rochester, executive director, said.

The memorial service is more about food or music; however, it allows people to bring closure to losing a loved one.

“We all need to say goodbye and to say goodbye in a happy way,” Rochester said. “We think (the service) brings peace and adds some joy.”

Peggy McNamara, clinical director, said when a family had one of its member in the Visiting Nurses’ care, they really appreciate the follow-up.

The memorial service is not exclusive to the organization’s participants; the community is invited, too. “We want the community to feel free to come also,” Rochester said.

She explained everyone in the community is invited “because not everybody gets home care at the hospice and at some point someone has experienced loss. (People) don’t have to be a part of hospice care to have grief.”

The Los Alamos Visiting Nurses is a nonproft program that provides medical and social services to patients at home. It offers psychiatric nursing, maternal/child health care, physical therapy, occupational therapy, as well as teams, which provide speech therapy, social services and home health aide.

People interested in attending the memorial service should call the Visiting Nurses at 662-2525 to RSVP.