Each year we seek to honor and remember each Silver Lake resident who has passed from our midst since our last celebration of life. We speak their name and chime the memorial bell. We then read brief highlights from each of the lives we celebrate (or a family member or friend steps in to give the brief highlights, often determined ahead of time). Following the highlights, a family member moves to the table of candles and roses where the family member (or friend) is presented with a virtual candle and a rose. They return to their seats.
These simple stories, written and, especially, when given by loved ones, have proven to be the most uplifting and inspirational parts of the program. Each year, families give positive comments afterwards about being so pleased that they took the opportunity of having their loved one's short-form story heard, surrounded by a community of people who have recently experienced the disorienting pain of loss and finding comfort and understanding in others' familiar experiences.