Angel trees help family members honor lost loved ones during the holidays


Lost and Found Grief Center volunteer Denise Meyer hangs an angel ornament on a tree at Mercy Hospital. The ornament was made by family members of someone who has died. The ornament is a way to honor the memory of a loved one in a way that doesn't seem morbid or sad.(Photo: Jackie Rehwald/News-Leader)

For many years, the children at Lost and Found Grief Center in Springfield have created angel ornaments in memory of their loved ones. Dr. Karen Scott, executive director for the center, said the activity helps families with the difficult task of facing the holidays without a loved one who has died.

"We offer them many opportunities to learn new traditions that help honor the memory of a loved one and bring that memory into the holidays in a way that doesn’t seem morbid or sad," Scott explained. "The tendency for some is to try to move forward with everything just the way they have always done it, which is very sad when someone is missing. That feels very awkward. So we teach them new ways to bring the memory of the deceased person into the holidays, which allows them to acknowledge that they will always have an important place in the family."

The ornaments are hung on a large tree at the Lost and Found Center, 1555 S. Glenstone Ave. Ornaments from previous years are hung on a tree in the lobby at Mercy Hospital, 1235 E. Cherokee St. Continue reading