BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – Since 2001, United Hospital Center (UHC) has been holding a “Gift of Lights Ceremony” that memorializes hospice patients who have passed. Thursday night’s ceremony had the names of those who are no longer with us read while candles were lit to represent their light will always shine.

“The purpose of the whole lighting ceremony is to continue your loved ones life, continue to memorialize them, continue to let them be part of your everyday life,” said Devany Yearsley, WVU Medicine hospice volunteer coordinator. “It’s just our way to let others know that they are the light of this world, they are still here with us and we can still honor them in every way that we can.”

Additionally, the ceremony lit up a Christmas tree that will remain lit until January 1, 2023.

The Gift of Light Christmas tree is located in the VA Memorial Garden in between the Louis A. Johnson VA Memorial Hospital and the Clarksburg amphitheater.

“Holidays are difficult for everybody especially those who are going thru those hard times, now’s the time to as any day and every day to let your love one’s know how much you care, life is a gift to us all and everyday we need to realize that.”

If you or a family member is going through tough times and need someone to talk to for bereavement services, UHC services can be reached here.