Candlelight service honors loved ones

Members of the Sycamore High School orchestra played at a candlelight vigil held Nov. 14 at Olson Funeral & Cremation Services Ltd., Quiram Sycamore Chapel where more than 20 recently deceased community members were honored.

Bruce Olson, president and fourth generation funeral home owner opened the ceremony by sharing a personal grief story of when he was 17 and lost both his brother and sister in a plane crash.

Pastor Stephen Persson from First Baptist Church of Sycamore shared remarks and Danessa Carter from Ben Gordon Center talked about handling grief, especially during the holidays.

Following are tips for grieving during the holidays:

• Be gentle with yourself and protect yourself from stress.

• Don’t do more than you want, allow some down time.

• Allow time for feelings – laugh and cry.

• Let your grief out with a prayer before dinner, light a candle by their picture or share favorite stories about them.

• Allow others to help you – it’s OK to ask and accept help from others.

• Help others who also are grieving – invite them over, send a card or call them – and pay extra attention to grieving children.

More than 100 participants passed a single flame to light a candle in memory of their loved one. Olson staff then presented each family with a memorial gift.