On Nov. 10, Hooverwood held an interfaith memorial service in the Glazer Family Chapel. Residents, staff, and family members honored the memory of residents who have passed away in the last six months.
The afternoon was both solemn and celebratory. Family members embraced staff members. There were red eyes and damp cheeks, fists of Kleenex. Thirty-one times a bell was rung — one high-pitched echo for each resident who had passed away. But while the service was sacred, it also represented the closeness of the “Hooverwood Family.”
As executive director Marc Penner said, “Family members, guests, everyone — is special to us. We miss our loved ones, and we miss you. You are all members of the Hooverwood Family.”
The memorial service, conducted twice per year, gives surviving family members the opportunity to reunite with Hooverwood staff and residents. People chat, check-in, catch up, reminisce.
As Rabbi Lew Weiss said, “The memorial service celebrates the lives of our loved ones and celebrates the beauty and truth in their lives.”
Pastor Mark Powell, a pastor at St. Vincent Hospice, joined Rabbi Weiss in leading the service. After Rabbi Weiss recited Psalm 23, Pastor Powell talked about the symbolism behind the candle lighting.
He explained that the first candle — the “candle of grief” — represented the pain we feel after losing someone, that the second candle — the “candle of love” — represented the eternal affection we have for our loved ones, and that the third candle — the “candle of hope” — represented the memories that will never leave us.
After the service, light refreshments were served. There was chatter, and laughter, as we reminisced about our loved ones. After all, Hooverwood isn’t just a home for our residents — it’s a place for our residents’ families. The memorial service gives us the opportunity to come together and celebrate the lives of our residents.