A tradition in Billings brings hope and comfort to families who want to remember loved ones.
About 600 names were read inside at Riverstone Health's 27th annual Hospice Tree of Lights. The list included people who have died this year and in years past. After the reading, they went outside to light the tree.
This year the family of John Black performed the honors.
“My dad died two months ago, so it's particularly meaningful to us today,” said Susan Barton, Black’s daughter and senior director of Riverstone’s Home Care Hospice program.
Barton understood the Tree of Lights both as a grieving family member and a hospice worker.
"it's a very special moment and to hear their name read aloud, even if it’s been a long time since they passed, said Barton, who is the Sr. Director of Home Care Hospice at Riverstone. “They’re never out of your heart, so it's kind of nice to hear that name said aloud in reverence. All of us have carried the people we work with all the years in our hearts forever."
Some families will come back to see the lights during the coming weeks.