‘Tree of Lights’ Ceremony Helps Grieving Families

Essentia Health's Annual Ceremony Is a Fundraiser for Grief Support Services

DULUTH, Minn. – A ceremony at Essentia Health helps grieving families get through the holiday season.

The holidays can be difficult for families experiencing the loss of a loved one.

At Essentia Health’s Tree of Lights Ceremony, people experiencing grief come together to connect with others going through the same emotions.

At the ceremony, families remember, honor and thank special people in their lives through music and prayer.

Duluth area fourth graders read essays about people who mean a lot to them.

“They can come and be part of something just before Christmas where, if they’ve lost a loved one during the year or sometimes a week or so ago, they’ll come and they’ll help heal that hurt that they have,” said Jean Pessenda, chair of the Tree of Light Program.

The program is a fundraiser for Essentia’s Grief Support Services. They offer free therapy for adults and children grieving the death of a loved one.

“I know people who keep coming back year after year and they say it’s such a precious connection to their loved one who has died, a way of starting off their holiday season in loving memory,” said Gina Dixon, Program Manager of Grief Support Services.

Grief Support Services accept donations all year long to help keep the program alive.

To donate or learn more, click here.