MATTOON, Ill. (WCIA) — The annual Windows to Heaven celebration of life, a memorial program that honors children who have died, was held at Sarah Bush Lincoln Hospital Saturday morning.
The service was open to anyone who has suffered the loss of a child and featured a remembrance slide show.
“It’s always moving, more emotional once you finally do the ceremony. When you meet the people, and talk to them, you hear their devastation, and yet their strength. How they begin to move on, it’s hard but they’re able to do it,” says Dawn Sexton, who is a Bereavement Counselor at Lincoln Land Hospice.
Windows to Heaven is inspired by a Swedish children’s song. The song highlights the beautifully handcrafted windows from which an artist’s rendition of the brilliant night sky filled with stars can be seen.
Silver stars engraved with the child’s name hung in the clear sky among other stars.
Stars can be purchased by parents, friends, or relatives of children who have died. Children do not have to have received care at Sarah Bush Lincoln to have one hung in their honor, and their deaths do not need to be recent.