NEWPORT, AR (KAIT) - For many families, enjoying the holiday season is difficult because they are struggling with the loss of loved ones.
More than a decade ago, one Region 8 community started a tradition that helps people cope with their grief.
Jackson's Funeral Home in Newport holds a Christmas memorial service for people who want to remember family and friends who have died. Funeral director Karen Hunt said she has seen how sharing grief as a group is helpful. "The holidays are especially hard when you've lost someone, and if we can come together as a group and offer each other support and remember together, there's nothing more special than that."
Newport resident David Black's mother died two years ago. "There's no doubt people need this time of year, especially if it's the first Christmas," he said.
Black said events like memorial service can help soothe the common hurt the bereaved share. This is something where you get a chance to reflect on somebody's life and it's more of a positive than a negative."
One way memorial goers turned their grief into a positive is by putting gifts under a Christmas tree at the ceremony in memory of their loved ones. The presents will be donated to service organizations such as Angel Tree and Toys for Tots.