Meierhoffer tree

Michael Meierhoffer watches as the Christmas tree is set up in the lobby of Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory.

Those at Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory hope the facility can be a place of comfort this holiday season through a special holiday remembrance event.

The 28th annual event originally began with a partnership between Heartland Health (now Mosaic Life Care) and Meierhoffer, encouraging those who have experienced a loss to come and bring a special ornament in remembrance of loved ones to place on or under a Christmas tree.

For Michael Meierhoffer, chairman of the board at Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory, the first event in 1992 was definitely one to remember.

“The irony of the fact is that in setting this thing up, I was not aware of the fact that I was gonna lose my father,” he said.

Meierhoffer would sit in with the group of 20 to 30 people during its first session.

During this year’s event, Dave Mejia, a certified celebrant, will come to speak to those in attendance.

“And he gives them ideas on how to keep that memory alive or what to do during the holidays to remember that person, Jane Graves, the community outreach coordinator at Meierhoffer, said. “This time of year is generally very hard for someone who’s lost a loved one over the year, sometimes years ago. It’s still with them. The holidays bring up those memories of that person being with them and they they miss them.”

The event is nondenominational, and members of the public, especially those who come to visit the cemetery near Meierhoffer, are invited to attend.

Meierhoffer said that in years past, he’s seen individuals attend not just one year, but two, three or even four.

“People can basically talk among themselves and talk about the various emotions they’re having,” he added. “There’s no question … The holidays are especially difficult for people. It’s that time when somebody is missing at the table and obviously not replaceable, but it’s something that we try to help people through and understand the emotions that they’re having.”

Meierhoffer’s remembrance event will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5 at Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory, 5005 Frederick Ave.

Daniel Cobb can be reached

at daniel.cobb@newspressnow.com.

Follow him on Twitter: @NPNowCobb.