Dawn Rye | Writer
Christmas time is a time to gather together to create memories with loved ones and remember the special times with our loved ones who have passed. For the Marion Tieszen Memorial Nursing Home, 2020 placed a hardship on the staff and residents due to COVID-19. A few weeks ago, the nursing home set an angel tree outside with white doves to remember those residents that died of either natural causes or COVID.
Administrator Laura Wilson said Dean Witkop, minster of the First Church in Monroe, is part of the Marion Ministry Association, who built the Christmas tree and his in-laws donated the nativity scene. She explained her husband hand made the doves on the tree and each dove represents a resident they lost. Wilson said they wanted a way to remember the nursing home’s losses in the last few months.
“It was geared for trying to have a remembrance because it has been tough,” commented Wilson.
She said a lot of the staff, residents and families have not had the opportunity to have a typical grieving method. The nursing home wanted to do something that would be more visible to the community, so they understood the impact of what the losses meant, explained Wilson.
She noted the tree would come down after the holidays and family members would be asked if they would like the dove, made in their loved one’s memory.
She said the resident’s names might be just names to some, but they are faces to the staff at the nursing home. Wilson said all the residents at the nursing home are considered family. She noted the staff has had to watch these residents pass away or deal with several losses in a day, making it more challenging. Wilson commented that this year, in her mind, would be considered a traumatic experience. She said the tree recognizes and memorializes the losses of residents at the nursing home. Wilson noted family members and the community are welcome to stop by and show their support for the Tieszen Nursing Home staff and residents.