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By MARGIE ADAMS
My father was very curious about God — as Creator, Redeemer and Holy Spirit.
If you climb the stairs up to the attic of our family home, the first thing you’ll see is row upon row of bookshelves along the walls and running into “the library,” the quiet place where Dad cultivated his collection of books on theology, world religions and philosophy.
He was always buying a new one. I recall saying to him: When you get to heaven, Dad, you can get the answers you didn’t find in your books. And he would smile and turn the page.
This memory makes me smile as I think of him now in heaven. He taught me that God’s love for us is the most important thing in life. It became my foundation and my peace.
“Remember the days of old, consider the years long past; ask your father, and he will inform you; your elders, and they will tell you.” Deuteronomy 32:7
My father died on Christmas Day in 2002. As the years pass, the family continues to share memories — the ups and the downs. This is a part of our story — my story.
At first it was hard to fill his absence. But telling the story has eased the loss.
This shared experience is part of the grieving process — to remember and to honor. There are no “shoulds” in grief. It is a singular journey. But in telling the story and gathering with others, we may be able to find some comfort.
For the past three years, the PeaceHealth Spiritual Care Department and Ketchikan Volunteer Hospice has created a time and place for our community to gather, remember and honor those who have died. The Annual Memorial Service is a community-focused event for families and friends who have lost loved ones in the past year. Being with others to honor a parent, sibling, child, can bring some comfort that we are not alone on this journey.
The Memorial Service is set for Saturday Nov. 30 at 4 p.m. at The Plaza mall. The service will include song, reflection and prayer, as well as the Reading of the Names. If this can be a time of comfort and connection, of remembrance and thanksgiving, you are more than welcome to join us at the Hospice Tree.
“Come to me all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens and I will give you rest.” Matthew.11:28
Love and death touches people in very different ways. Perhaps this can be a time for finding comfort and strength in gathering and sharing with others who are making the same journey.
“Thus, says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah. 6:16
Margie Adams, MA, is the staff chaplain at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center.
Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.