Coleman Funeral Home hosted a Christmas memorial on Dec. 4 for families we had served since opening our new building in November 2015.
In what will be an annual offering, the event was a quieter celebration of the sometimes overwhelming holiday. A blazing fireplace, beverages and hors d’oeuvres complemented the setting of wreaths, poinsettias and a blue-bedecked Christmas tree as traditional music played serenely in the background.
The memorial was planned as a way for grieving people to acknowledge the season and its meaning without ignoring their loss.
“We wanted people to be comfortable being part of the holiday without having to hide their emotions,” said co-owner and funeral director Glenn Coleman. “From the comments we heard, it seemed to serve its intended purpose even better than we had hoped.”
In addition to Christmas music playing in the background before and after the short program, tenor and Ole Miss baseball player Brady Bramlett sang “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and “O Holy Night.” Pastor J.D. Shaw of Grace Bible Church emphasized in a short message that Christmas ultimately points to the hope of the Resurrection. It is a comfort for those in mourning, he said, which often gets lost in the holiday’s more festive facets.
One special feature was the presentation of memorial ornaments to those in attendance. Several recipients wept quietly as they read their loved one’s name and life dates inscribed in glass.
The program ended with Brady Bramlett leading us in singing “Silent Night” and National Guard SPC Steven Smith playing “Taps.” The smiles and tears evident on faces in the audience proved an ancient truth once again: Joy and mourning can live in the same hearts.
Especially if 2016 has been a difficult year for you, we wish you a merry – and meaningful – Christmas.