We remember people all of the time. We are built and shaped and guided by the memories of the people we have lost in life. Anything we do might trigger a memory at anytime, so why, then, do we get together for memorials? Why do we build monuments and hold ceremonies and do all of the things that we do in order to make sure we are remembering? There are many different reasons, but at the core of it we do it so that we can honor those we’ve lost with a positive reminder of what they brought to our lives.
The Annual Memorial Tree exists to promote that positive remembrance. With the names and lights on the tree we get a physical reminder of those we have lost. And while the tree is only up for a short part of the year, the memories are always with us as we travel through our lives and move forward.
Trees symbolize not just life but the life cycle. From seed to root to trunk and branch and back to the forest floor these trees exemplify the life cycle of the world around us. The people we have lost, just like the trees that fall, are still a part of us. They still nurture us and let us grow even after they appear to the rest of the world to be gone. If you’ve ever felt like you knew just what someone you lost would have said in a situation, if you ever cook a special dish they taught you to make, if you ever draw on their guidance and wisdom they imparted to you they are still helping you grow and live your life. Memorials help us recognize that, even if only for a short time, and we are able to be thankful that we had that person in our lives for as long as we did.
Sierra Hospice understands the value in honoring those we have lost in this way. We believe the symbols and the names and the ceremony itself are an important part of remembering and loving those we lost while also a symbol of growth and change and a never ending cycle that we are all a part of throughout our lifetimes. We believe it is good to remember, and we also believe it is good to know it is okay to move on in your life because the person you lost is always with you, whether you can see a physical representation of them or not.