Tree gives the gift of remembered lives - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Tree gives the gift of remembered lives

By Doug Walker – bio | email

ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) - The St. Martin library looks like any other library from the outside. Even the inside looks like your typical library, with the exception of the front reception area.  There stands the Celebration of Life tree. 

At times, the very special Christmas tree does bring back painful memories to some folks. But to others, it's an uplifting experience. It's a remembrance of the life of a loved one, a remembrance that brings back good memories. 

Linda Seymour has helped put up the tree for the past five years.  She lost her son to violent crime 20 years ago. It's a day she never forgets.  But Seymour believes there is healing power in the tree.

"When we put this tree up, we are celebrating their life, and this is the way we share Christmas with them." 

Janice Zulegg is the library director. She is proud to have the library take part in such a special event, housing a tree that means so much to so many people.  

"The Compassionate Friends fill a real need in the community." Zuleeg said.  "They are here to help the families of those who have lost children." 

You see the names and the faces of these lost loved ones, and you can't help but feel some the pain the families feel when they lost them forever. But Linda Seymour refuses to give up and live a life full of suffering.  Her advice to others facing similar losses is timeless, and powerful. 

"The best quote I ever heard was from one of our leaders 20 years ago over in Gulfport was that losing a child, it can make you bitter or better and that's your choice." 

And Linda has chosen to be better, and help her friends become better as well.

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