Wreaths Across America: Coleman Funeral Home to Honor Fallen Veterans

On December 16, 2023, Coleman Funeral Home will once again be participating in Wreaths Across America, a national movement to honor our nation’s veterans by placing wreaths on their graves. Garden of Memories Cemetery in Oxford will be one of thousands of cemeteries across the country participating in this memorial event.

“We believe that it is important to remember and honor the sacrifices our veterans have made,” said Mike Roberts, Garden of Memories pre-planning specialist. “We take part in Wreaths Across America every year, and it is a special way to show our gratitude and appreciation to those who have served our country.”

At 11:00 a.m. on December 16, community volunteers and Coleman Funeral Home’s staff will gather at Garden of Memories Cemetery to say the name of each veteran aloud as they lay wreaths on the graves of veterans, following the mission of Wreaths Across America to “remember, honor and teach” about our veterans’ sacrifice.

“We love when families take part in Wreaths Across America because when a child or teenager places a wreath on a veteran’s grave, it helps educate the next generation about service, bravery, freedom and sacrifice,” said Roberts.

You can help Coleman Funeral Home honor our veterans by sponsoring a wreath for Wreaths Across America. Each wreath costs $17, and you can sponsor as many wreaths as you’d like. You can sponsor a wreath in honor or memory of a loved one or request a specific veteran’s grave for your wreath to be placed at. The last day to sponsor a wreath is November 28. Click here to sponsor a wreath.

We encourage you to join Coleman Funeral Home in honoring our veterans on December 16th. You can sponsor a wreath, volunteer to help lay wreaths or attend to show your support. To volunteer at the event, click here

Garden of Memories Oxford to Honor Fallen Veterans with Wreaths

In December, Garden of Memories Oxford will host Wreaths Across America to remember and honor the 56 veterans buried at the cemetery.

The wreath-laying ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. on Dec. 17, and staff and community volunteers will decorate the graves of every veteran laid to rest at Garden of Memories.

“This is a meaningful way to honor the sacrifice and bravery of the heroes buried at Garden of Memories,” said Mike Roberts, the cemetery’s pre-planning specialist. “It’s a community effort with a big impact, especially for veterans’ families and friends.”

Though over half of the wreaths needed have been sponsored, Garden of Memories is still seeking sponsors. Each wreath sponsorship costs $15. Interested individuals can learn more or register by visiting: https://wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/159634.

Wreaths Across America began in 1992 when Morrill Worcester decided to use his company’s surplus wreaths to honor the veterans buried at Arlington National Cemetery. They have only grown since then, now placing wreaths on over 1.6 million veterans’ graves at over 3,400 locations each year.

“We’ve partnered with Wreaths Across America for several years and are proud to continue this year,” said Roberts. “We appreciate the organization’s commitment to making sure our veterans’ sacrifices are not forgotten.”

Coleman Funeral Home’s ‘Trunk or Treat’ Scares Up Safe Family Fun

Community members slinging candy is, as one might expect, a primary draw for the Halloween-themed Trunk or Treat event in the parking lot at Coleman Funeral Home, but lately a friendly neighborhood web-slinger and his friends give the sweets a run for their wrappers. 

“In the past couple of years, we’ve had staff in costume as super heroes, such as Spider-Man and Captain American,” said Glenn Coleman, co-owner of Coleman Funeral Home. “It seems like half the kids see Spider-Man and want their picture made with him—almost more so than they even want candy.” 

Coleman Funeral Home will host its annual fifth Trunk or Treat on October 27 from 5 to 7 p.m. The event is free and is open to all families with children 12 and under. Coleman said the goal of Trunk or Treat is to bring the community together and provide kids with a safe place to trick or treat. Especially for smaller children, he said, trick-or-treating from parked car to parked car can be a safer alternative to going door-to-door in neighborhood, as well as easier and more contained for families. 

“And, besides a photo op with comic book heroes, kids get to see police cars and fire trucks,” Coleman said. 

Since the first event in 2017, the word has spread, like a classic ghost story. 

“It started with about 12 or 15 cars in the parking lot and about 100 kids,” Coleman said, “It’s grown to where we have 40 or 50 vendors calling us wanting to reserve a spot. We anticipate serving 600 to 1,000 kids this year.”  

Along with the increase in community involvement each year, more staff are getting in on the fun. “Our staff members really look forward to it and enjoy making the kids smile,” Coleman said. 

Coleman Funeral Home is located at 601 Commerce Parkway. Please enter from CR 401 (behind the property) rather than Highway 7 South. 

 

Kaye Bryant Inspires Local Grief Group

Coleman Funeral Home hosts second gathering of The Journey After

OXFORD, Miss. – At the second meeting of The Journey After, a grief support group hosted by Coleman Funeral Home, Kaye Bryant shared her experiences with overcoming grief to inspire members.

Bryant, an Oxford native, opened up about the changes she had to make in her life following the loss of her second husband, her mother, her father and, most recently, her son.

“After each loss I experienced, I had to reinvent myself,” Bryant explained to the group.

On October Oct. 29, 2019, Bryant’s son, Army Col. Bobby Arlen Towery, died just four hours after completing the eight-mile race held during The Great 38 Race Weekend. Bryant read a letter to the group that she wrote to herself shortly after this loss.

“Kaye, you have now suffered the ultimate pain; you have lost a child,” Bryant read. “But you are still alive. You have a duty to your daughter, your daughter-in-law and your three grandsons. So, suck it up girl.”

Bryant went on to share how, after each death, she found herself alone and with a choice — she could either give up or become the person she needed to be to get herself and her family through each loss.

“I was continually discovering who I was and all that I was capable of doing,” Bryant said. “I stand in front of you today a work in progress after the loss of my son. I’m in the process of reinventing myself one last time.”

The Journey After is a grief support group hosted by Coleman Funeral Home and organized by Kathy Brummett and Patricia Lewis. This group is open to everyone in the community.

Kathy Brummett, family care coordinator for Coleman Funeral Home and host of The Journey After, said she was in awe of Bryant’s strength.

“It is impossible to listen to her and not be inspired,” Brummett said. “This is what The Journey After is all about; people who understand what it is like to experience a loss coming together to support one another. We are trying to help people who have experienced a loss find a community that understands their grief.”

The Journey After is a grief support group hosted by Coleman Funeral Home and organized by Kathy Brummett and Patricia Lewis. This group is open to everyone in the community, especially those who are struggling with a loss. Each meeting time is shared on the Coleman Funeral Home of Oxford Facebook page.

To learn more about The Journey After and Coleman Funeral Home, visit colemanfuneralhome.com.

 

The story behind our new support group

By Kathy Brummett

Coleman Funeral Home

When I lost my husband years ago, I had to start my journey through the stages of grief. I buried myself in work and got stuck in the grieving process. There was no community I felt like I belonged to anymore, and certainly no community where I felt truly comfortable expressing what I was going through. I was moving forward in life without my spouse by side, something only a person who experienced the same thing could have understood. 

Kathy Brummett serves Coleman Funeral Home as family care coordinator.

I still had a close circle of friends, but something had changed. I felt like I was being excluded by my married friends, although I know they didn’t mean to. Understandably, they became uncomfortable around me. They didn’t want to say or do the wrong thing, so it always felt like they were walking on eggshells during any conversation. There was a giant elephant that followed me around, but no one felt comfortable enough to talk to me about it.

I didn’t know then, but I needed a new community. I didn’t need to replace the friends I already had, but I needed to meet people who understood what I was going through. Having a group of people who had a similar experience to mine would have made me feel more comfortable to share what I was going through. I didn’t know then that what I really needed to do was talk about my grief and be surrounded by people who weren’t afraid to talk about it with me.

After several years and lots of healing, I want to help provide that community to people who have experienced the loss of a spouse. In partnership with Coleman Funeral Home and Patricia Lewis, I will be starting The Journey After, a gathering of people who understand what it means to experience loss.

The first meeting is set for Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 10 a.m. and will be held at Coleman Funeral Home of Oxford. During this first gathering, Patricia and I will share about our own journey through grief, as well as lead an open discussion about navigating the holidays after a major loss.

Meeting people who have been in, or are currently in, the same place as you can help you understand what you are going through. It is our hope that this group offers support and encouragement as each member defines their own Journey After.

RSVP to The Journey After by emailing [email protected] or calling (662) 801-0225.

Kathy Brummett is family care coordinator at Coleman Funeral Home.