BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — For many the holidays are a time to come together with loved ones and celebrate the season. But for those who have lost loved ones, it can be a much more difficult time of year. One Mortuary in Beckley wants to give those who have lost loved ones this year a chance to come together.
For the past thirty years, Melton Mortuary and Cremation Center in Beckley brings people together in December for their Golden Leaves of Christmas memorial program. The purpose of the program is to help those who lost a loved one over the last year, come to terms with what they are going through in a supportive and understanding environment.
Dozens of people came out to participate in the service, including West Virginia Senator Jack Woodrum, who is also a Funeral director and embalmer with Melton. Woodrum feels for anyone who has to deal with loss, especially during the holidays.
“Traditionally holidays are a difficult time filled with a lot of emotion you have had people who were there with you last year and you have vivid memories of being there together at Christmas and you know you have an empty space this year,” said Sen. Woodrum (R).
Woodrum believes there is a reason why so many people come to the ceremony year after year. He said it helps people realize they are not alone, and properly process what love and grief mean to them.
“They have some sense of peace when they leave her and maybe they understand what they are feeling a little bit better and you know you never really in my mind get over grief you learn to live with it you learn to live with that loss,” said Sen. Woodrum (R).
But that is not all they leave with.
Two Christmas trees sat at the front of the building. All of the ornaments on the tree represented and were dedicated to a loved one lost during the past year. At the end of the service, they were given to a family member.
Woodrum said he knows many people, including himself who have kept these ornaments for decades, and know the meaning it carries.
“For me, it is a link to my past it is a link to other people that are gone. and I think we provided a little bit of that with these ornaments,” said Sen. Woodrum (R).
Giving people the chance to come together to remember those who could not.