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Coming together to cope with loss
Inez Golden stands in front of a group holding a white balloon at the Light Up a Life bereavement event

Coming together to cope with loss

By Jessica Pickens on November 5, 2019

Inez Golden's husband, Jim, passed away in the summer of 2017 at the Spartanburg Regional Hospice Home. That December, she was invited to attend a bereavement event called Light Up a Life.

Held outside the Spartanburg Regional administrative offices at Beaumont Mill, the event included spiritual music and readings as well as speakers who touched on themes of love and hope. Names of attendees' loved ones were read aloud and dove-shaped balloons were released into the cold evening air.

Light Up a Life brings grieving families together each December to share memories of loved ones and to experience a sense of camaraderie.

“It was a very touching experience,” Golden said. “It meant a great deal to the families that were there.”

This year, Light Up a Life, to be held on Dec. 3 at Beaumont Mill. There are two services – at 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Those who donate to Spartanburg Regional Foundation's Hospice Special Needs Fund will receive a special ornament while supplies last. The fund supports a wide range of services for Spartanburg Regional Hospice patients and their families, including a Thanksgiving and Easter meals program, assistance to cover the cost of medicines and other basic needs, bereavement programs and more.

The special needs fund helps the hospice team go above and beyond for patients and families.

“We hear from caregivers all the time how much it means to be able to help families who are facing financial hardships or to bring loved ones together to create memories,” said Gina De La Cruz Turcotte, director of philanthropy for the Regional Foundation and liaison to its hospice division.

Light Up a Life is one of several services of remembrance held throughout the year.

Hospice chaplains and social workers lead the Light Up a Life program, but nurses and other team members attend. They have gotten to know many of the families who participate and want to show their support.

“Light Up a Life is such a special event,” said Turcotte. “We know that the holidays can be an especially difficult time for those who have recently lost a loved one. Seeing these families gather and share a feeling of togetherness is really powerful.”

Amy Knight, social work and counseling manager for Spartanburg Regional Hospice, underscored the importance of providing bereavement services during this time of the year.

“Holidays are fun, but can also be tough for the bereaved,” Knight said. “Rituals can be a big part of how individuals and families grieve in healthy ways. Holiday gatherings, like Light up a Life, are rituals that help grieving families connect with the memory of their loved ones in a powerful way. These connections help to restore brokenness and heal sadness.”

To make a donation, visit