So many of us are praying for our neighbors and our community. This has been Ketchikan’s most difficult time so far with the virus. The year 2020 has been about loss — individual and collective loss.

On our island home there has been loss of jobs, safety and security, and most of all, closeness. We yearn to return to our churches and the fellowship there. Thinking “outside the box” is becoming normal.

Each year, PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center brings to the community a way to express its collective grief and honor those who have died.

This year will be different. Just as we have had to move to online worship services, classes and meetings, so will the Annual Memorial Service.

The wonderful Hospice Tree will be in its usual spot at The Plaza mall. It will soon be ready for us to place ribbons of love and remembrance on the tree.

There are some among us who cannot celebrate the upcoming holidays without calling to mind loved ones who are absent from the table.

Celebrating the holiday season and Christmas for the first time without our loved ones can be a sad and lonely time. The Hospice and Spiritual Care teams hope to ease that sadness. By remembering our loved ones in this annual service, we can be there for each other for encouragement and support.

This year, social closeness is being replaced with technology. The Memorial Service will be held, and social media must be our platform. We are attempting to bring the respect, the dignity, the reverence needed to ensure that our loved ones are remembered in a sacred way.

Our Creator has given us the ability to reflect on our memories of those that we have loved and who have gone before us. This event can be a time when together we can say goodbye to friends and family members who have died. I thank my God every time I remember you (Phil 1:3).

We never have to stop loving them; we can speak to their spirit and feel their presence always. Our memories are our most important possessions; no one can take them away.

Please join us as we honor and remember our loved ones at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 28, using this link: facebook.com/PHKetchikan/live

And let us keep praying for our community and those affected by the virus at this time. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer (Romans 12:12).

Margie Adams, MA, is the staff chaplain at PeaceHealth Ketchikan Medical Center.

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Perspectives is a regular column sponsored and written by members of the Ketchikan Ministerial Association.