A Meaningful Way to Celebrate a Loved One’s Life
Recently, Bethesda Hospice Care held its 2nd Annual Memorial Walk/Run at Queeny Park on a beautiful Saturday morning. This annual event is becoming a symbolic activity in which families, friends, community members, volunteers, and others unite through their commonality of grief to honor and memorialize a loved one who has died.
This year, more than 200 people came to run or walk the 5K or 1K option. As runners checked-in, they picked up their free t-shirts for pre-registering. Bethesda volunteers handed out water and light snacks while Lisa Jones played guitar and sang throughout the memorial.
Reaching Out Through Additional Activities
Bethesda Hospice Care staff and other volunteers assisted in all areas of the event, including:
- A Children’s Activity Table where children could decorate candles for their loved ones and positively express their grief through arts and crafts
- A Veterans Table acknowledging veterans and their families for their service
- A Bethesda Hospice Care’s Bereavement Table with information about free services and programs available through Bethesda
A Ribbon Table , where hospice chaplains assist participants wrote the name of a loved one on a ribbon and attached to their t-shirts instead of a numberThe Ribbon Table was especially popular because after the race, runners had an opportunity to attach these ribbons to a “Celebration of Life” wreath as a part of the closing ceremony. Many people commented that they really enjoyed this part of the event because it makes them feel like they were running or walking for their loved one.
We hope that each year more people will take advantage of this wonderful way of commemorating the life of a loved one who has died. The death of a loved one changes us forever. But love does not end in death. Bethesda’s Memorial Walk is a great example of a ritual that helps to keep these continuous bonds with our loved ones.