Plainfield funeral home’s luminary service helps families deal with loss
By Madhu Mayer Correspondent December 6, 2012 10:56AM
People attend an open house and luminary service in honor of departed loved ones at Overman-Jones Funeral Home in Plainfield Wednesday, December 5, 2012. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media
Updated: January 8, 2013 6:09AM
Holidays are joyous to many, but the season can amplify the loneliness and sadness felt by those suffering the loss of a loved one.
Wednesday, for the 13th year, Overman-Jones Funeral Home, at the corner of Routes 30 and 59 in Plainfield, hosted an open house and tribute to families who are coping with loss. During the ecumenical service, many remained stoic while others could not hold back the tears.
Stephanie Jones-Kastelic, co-owner of the funeral home, said the open house coincides with the holiday season because it is a difficult time for families mourning special people in their lives.
“We really wanted to give folks a way to commemorate their loved ones and this incorporates community and support,” she said. By providing comfort, Jones-Kastelic said, the funeral home in a way comes “full circle” with its customers. But the event Wednesday night was open to the entire community, even if the Plainfield business did not handle funeral arrangements for those being mourned.
“We make the evening as inclusive as possible,” she said, adding that the best part of the open house is “people can decorate their luminaries,” which adorned the front entrance of the funeral home.
Of the 75 or so shining luminaries, many were decorated with artwork and others had loving messages like to “the best pop” and “I love you. I miss you. I am thinking about you.”
For Dana and Melcy Pond, the event provided consolation in their time of distress as the Plainfield couple is mourning the loss of their son, Kemp, who died in May of a motorcycle accident. Kemp was just 30 years old.
Accompanied by their two other children, Melcy said, “This is another layer in the grieving process.” Dana said she found solace when decorating the luminary in memory of her son.
Their daughter, Lydia Pond, felt she was in the right environment to share her grief.
“You get to be in a place where people are going through the same thing,” she said.
As Bob Cummings of Plainfield looked at a luminary of his wife, Charlotte, who died four months ago, it became apparent the event’s purpose was being fulfilled.
“I am just trying to stay busy and not think about this,” said Cummings in remembrance of his wife of 37 years.