More than 300 people gathered at Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home on Wednesday night for the business’ 26th annual Memorial Luminary event.
Remembering loved ones with a tribute in light
Each year, the funeral home invites the families they’ve served from Oct. 1 of the previous year through September of the current year to remember their loved ones who’ve passed, with a tribute in light.
“They get to honor their loved ones through luminary bag decoration and come here and pay their respects,” said Friedrich-Jones Funeral Home owner, Stephanie Jones-Kastelic.
More than 500 decorated and lit-up bags lined the front yard of the funeral home. There was also a formal service outside for those in attendance.
“We had a very, very nice poem done by our directors, and candle lighting and then we had military honors performed by our Naperville honor, honor squad. And I was able to read the 13 folds of the flag, which was a real honor, to do that,” said Jones-Kastelic.
Memorial Luminary event inspired by similar remembrance
Jones-Kastelic came up with the idea for the special luminary tribute after meeting a woman at her church who honored her son in a similar way.
“I had gone and attended a grief group meeting at my church, which is St. Raphael’s, and a wonderful lady spoke about her tradition to make sure that her young son would be remembered. And each year they would fill out and decorate the bag, and she would line his grave with them on Christmas Eve in his remembrance,” said Jones-Kastelic.
Attendee Winnie Moen came out Wednesday to pay tribute to her mother.
“I’m one of 12 children, so we were all very excited to have different photos and memories to honor our mother and to be able to be here on this beautiful night and to have a service. Friedrich-Jones is very nice to do that for the families,” said Moen.
The event typically takes place the week before Thanksgiving, giving people a chance to remember those they love just before the holiday season, which is so often filled with memories of those who’ve passed.
“It continues to tell us that these events are important, that people do need them, and when you offer them the opportunity to gather and remember that they want to do that,” said Jones-Kastelic.
If you have a story idea, we’d love to hear from you!