For some, the holiday season isn't the happiest time of the year. Those who have lost family members must reckon with their absence.
The first-annual Service of Remembrance was created to bring solace to those coping with grief. Held Saturday at Fairfield Central High School in Fairfield County, South Carolina, the event was a time to reflect, sing and meet others experiencing the same feelings.
"God placed it on my heart to do it," creator Chris Hill told WLTX. "… Letting them know that there's help out there, somebody that they can talk to."
Hill serves as the Fairfield County Coroner, literally coming face to face with death countless times. For weeks, he has worked to get the word out and organize the event. WLTX reports he started planning the remembrance service last year.
Facebook posts on his timeline served as official announcements.
According to WLTX, the event was a huge success. People were more than willing to share their stories. One attendee, Mary Brown, recently lost her husband.
"We had been married for 54 years," Brown said. "I truly miss him, especially during this holiday time."
In addition to meeting others, she has learned new strategies to deal with grief. Another attendee, Vetineet Hueitt, came from Georgia to spend time with her aunt.
"I wanted to cry, I did, but I held back the tears," Hueitt said. "A warm feeling just went through my body. Just a joyous occasion, it really is."
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