Tree will grow in memory of lost loved ones

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Trees in memory of lost loved ones fill the courtyard at Singing River Health System Hospice of Life in Pascagoula. Now, a brand new live oak stands as a legacy to patients who have passed away this year.
News 25’s Gina Tomlinson takes us to the ceremony.
Legacies of loved ones are now planted in soil along the walking track at Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula. Family members, nurses, and caregivers gathered at a tree planting ceremony to remember former Singing River Health System Hospice of Light patients. Judy Crager’s dad was a patient who died in February, memories of him still deeply rooted in Judy’s heart. “He was fun and a laugh full and fun to hang out with his. His birthday is tomorrow. He’ll be 82.”
With loved ones in mind, family members helped pour soil securing a new home for a new live oak tree. The tree planting ceremony comes just before the holidays, a difficult time for many family members of patients who have recently passed away. Wanda Balton and her family are remembering her mother. Balton said, “Now Thanksgiving and Christmas will be the first time we won’t have our mom with us. That’s the hard thing when we’re all with family and she’s not there.”
Comforting words were said by Hospice of Light staff as the tree was padded down into its new resting place. This is the 23rd year Singing River Health Systems has held the ceremony during National Hospice Month. SRHS Medical Director Randy Roth said, “I think at the end of the day it allows people to say goodbye to the ones that they loved and see the nurses that took care of them.”
Now planted at the hospice, the tree will serve as a living memorial for all the patients lost over the past year. “People can come out here and just look at the tree and I can think of my mom and all the others that have been deceased this year,” said Balton.