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Ceremony held to honor loved ones missing this holiday

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — The holidays are a time to get together with loved ones. But for some, it is also a time to remember those they have lost.

Each year at Bay Medical Center they help families during this difficult time.

Since 2009, the Tree of Life Ceremony has been happening each holiday season to help remember those who are no longer with us, but have left behind something even more special.

“We’re here to celebrate- my husband was an organ and tissue donor, and we come every year, we have for the past 5 years, me and my grandchildren come to remember him and his giving in death just as he did in life,” said Bay County Resident, Charlene Colley.

Residents gather together to make ornaments in their family members honor. Some have been coming for years.

“Were making ornaments and putting them on this huge beautiful tree. We look to find new ones that we haven’t made in the past. And we bring new ornaments with us, but this year we just decided to come and make special ornaments for him,” said Colley.

One widow encourages others to donate their organs and tissues, just like her husband did.

“It’s a fantastic thing, people need to donate, people need to know how vital organ and tissue donations are to the living that need it,” said Colley.

Her grandson has been part of the remembrance tradition for years.

“This is something we do every year for my papa, it’s what all six of us always do. We just come out here and drink some hot coco and eat some cookies, and make ornaments for remembrance of him,” said Bay County Resident, Tyler Hudson.

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