Woodward, Okla. —
Woodward Regional Hospice is opening its arms and inviting anyone in the community who has recently lost a loved one to a special memorial service this weekend.
"Every year we hold a memorial service for our patients who have passed and we invite their families," explained Kris-Ann Moyer, clinical social worker and bereavement coordinator for Woodward Regional Hospice. "It's a time to honor them and celebrate their lives as well as to help the families in their grief."
However, this year the service will be a little different because the hospice organization is opening the event up to the public at large in addition to the families of former patients, Moyer said.
"This year we're inviting anyone in the community who has experienced a loss and would like to take time to remember and memorialize their loved one," she said.
When asked why they'd decided to invite all the community this year, Moyer explained, "Even if your loved one hasn't been a hospice patient, it's still a good time to come and remember and celebrate their lives. We try to reach out to the community in ways that are meaningful and this seemed like a natural progression to make our service available to all who need it."
The memorial service will take place Sunday, Nov. 4 at the St. John's Episcopal Church at 923 Texas Ave.
"Our hospice chaplain will be speaking at the event and our hospice volunteers have gone to a lot of work to make it a memorable service. It's been a real group effort," Moyer said.
The service will begin at 2 p.m. and last until roughly 2:45 p.m. Refreshments will be served following the service.
"Everyone is welcome to come even if they haven't attended the service before," Moyer said. "It will be a time for those grieving to visit with other people who've been through or are still dealing with similar experiences; we would call it fellowship time."
She said it can also be a healing time.
"Memorial services, and this is well documented in research, are an essential part of the healing process after having lost a loved one. We encourage all who are hurting to attend," she said.
Those interested in learning more about the memorial service or those interested in attending the service are encouraged to contact Kris-Ann Moyer at 254-9275. But even if you are unable to phone ahead, Moyer said you are still welcome to attend Sunday's service.