Last updated: December 24. 2013 9:43AM - 1652 Views
Lisa Rushing Staff Writer



Lisa Rushing|Richmond County Daily JournalKenny Vance's memory card hangs from the Forever Tree along with the commemorative pewter snowflake at the Richmond County Hospice administrative building in Rockingham.
Lisa Rushing|Richmond County Daily JournalKenny Vance's memory card hangs from the Forever Tree along with the commemorative pewter snowflake at the Richmond County Hospice administrative building in Rockingham.
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ROCKINGHAM — Dealing with grief a very difficult process.


Sometimes it becomes bearable, temporarily, when those left behind pass off the absence of a loved one as if he or she is on vacation or at work and will soon return. That’s next to impossible on Christmas — especially when your family is gathered but that one person is missing.


Kay Vance, of Rockingham, will soon experience her first Christmas without her husband, Kenny Vance. Vance thinks she is prepared for what is to come and how emotional it might be. Fortunately, Vance won’t be alone but will be surrounded by her supportive family on Christmas.


Kenny Vance passed away on July 25 after suffering complications from a heart transplant. As Kay explained, Kenny was lucky enough to receive assistance from Richmond County Hospice in his last days. Hospice did its annual Forever Tree this year, and Kay saw this as an exciting opportunity to remember Kenny and give back to those who helped her family when help was desperately needed.


“They have a team, and they were so good to us,” Kay said of the Richmond County Hospice going on to say that “if we called, they came.”


Local residents were given the opportunity to make monetary donations and in return have a card placed on the forever tree in memory or in honor of a loved one or group. With donations of $25 or more, the donor would receive a pewter snowflake ornament to place on their Christmas tree to remember and honor their loved one at home.


“No two snowflakes are alike. They are all individual. That’s the same way with the people that are remembered with this tree. They are all individual. No two are alike, ” Jessica Mims, social worker.


Donations can still be made, and the forever tree will remain in the administrative building in Rockingham through New Year’s Day. All contributions will help fund Hospice’s bi-annual Light of Life ceremony, which is held to honor those that have passed away within the past year.

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