Mesa funeral home’s remembrance The Mesa Tribune | The Hometown Newspaper for the city of Mesa, AZ

Mesa funeral home’s remembrance

Mesa funeral home’s remembrance
Mesa
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Tribune News Staff

For more than 20 years, Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery in Mesa has hosted a holiday memorial service, drawing upwards of 200 survivors of people who passed on.

But this year, social distancing has made that indoor gathering impossible, said Mountain View marketing specialist Hilary Samples, and besides, the pandemic’s deadly impact inspired a more public substitute.

Mountain View, 700 E. Main St., decorated the trees lining the long driveway into the mortuary and cemetery and added some lawn ornaments to create a public display called Lights of Love.

It will be open to anyone to drive through and remember a lost loved one anytime 4-8:30 p.m. through Jan. 3.

In addition, a special remembrance service outdoors will be held 4-8 p.m. Dec. 4, but you have to RSVP by Tuesday, Dec. 1, by calling Samples at 480-832-2850.

If you do, you can drive through anytime between 4 and 8 p.m. Dec. 4 and receive an ornament in which you can place a small photo of your loved one to place on the family tree, place a heart with your loved one’s name on it and drop it into the Mountain View’s memory shadowbox, light a candle in a special area in the cemetery and get an individually wrapped cookie specially prepared by a pastry chef. The Dickens’ Carolers also will be on hand to provide some holiday music.

Both the Lights of Love display and Lights of Love special event are ways that Mountain View Funeral Home and Mortuary is trying to bring some consolation to a wider audience because the impact of the pandemic has been so broad.

“Our chapel is normally packed and because of COVID, we couldn’t have that number of people in there,” she said of their traditional memorial service.

“We were just heartbroken because for many families, it’s the only service they have, the only time they hear their loved one’s name and get an ornament to remember them by.”

More significantly, she noted, “This year has been extremely difficult for so many families and we felt it was important to do something for our community to honor those who have passed away.”

“Our hope this year is to uplift the hearts of those that have experienced a loss of a loved one,” Samples added, saying she hopes Lights of Love will extend the peace of Christmas as people reflect on a lost loved one.

The Dec. 4 event already has drawn more than 190 reservations, and
Samples said the purpose of the RSVP is to make sure all those attending receive an ornament.

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