Participating in Thursday’s COVID-19 Candlelight Service were, from left, Forrest General Pastoral Care Coordinator Rodger Moore, M. Div., MCC; Staff Chaplain Bob Rogers, Th.D; Christina I. Williams, PhD, a clinical psychologist at Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services; and Forrest Health Vice President Millie Swan.
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (March 11, 2021) On the one-year anniversary of the state’s first case of COVID-19, which was diagnosed in Forrest County, Forrest General held a COVID-19 Candlelight Service on Thursday, March 11. This event was a time for healing and remembrance in honor and memory of patients, family and friends who have passed or are still recovering from COVID-19.
“We hope this was a time for healing, reflection and renewal,” said Millie Swan, Forrest Health vice president. “We have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in some way during the past year, so it felt appropriate to come together and honor the struggles and tenacity of so many.”
During the service, Christina I. Williams, PhD, a clinical psychologist at Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services, spoke on the importance of recognizing the impact the pandemic has had not only on our vocational, financial, and physical well-being but also our mental health. “We’ve lost our own loved ones and witnessed the pain of others’ losses, too,” she said. “It’s important that we allow ourselves to grieve, process trauma we’ve experienced, and not feel we have to do this alone. There’s help out there to help carry the weight. We can’t minimize our own pain because we are often the strong ones.
“The battle is not over, but we can continue with the same strength, courage, and love for others that brought us to being helpers in the first place. In this way, we can continue to fight the virus and honor those we’ve lost while doing so.”
Forrest General Staff Chaplain Bob Rogers said, “We are here today to look back and remember, to look around in unity and to look forward in hope.” “We look around this room, look at our co-workers, look to our families and our community, and we see that we are standing together. We are all unique individuals, but we come together, because we have a common calling to care for people,” added Rodger Moore, director of Pastoral Care at Forrest General.
At the end of the service, Forrest General employees were invited to light a candle in honor of or in memory of family, friends or patients who won their battle against COVID-19 and those who passed away during the pandemic.
To view this service, go to Forrest General Hospital’s Facebook page.