Community comes together to heal at FHN COVID-19 Vigil

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – The pandemic created some sort of loss for nearly everyone in the Stateline, that’s why FHN in Freeport brings the community together, to move forward on a journey of healing at a COVID-19 Vigil.

Sean Huguenin is the Spiritual Care Coordinator and Chaplain at FHN. He compares memories to videos, that we can replay in our minds.

“I’m inspired by the stories I hear,” said Huguenin. “The strengths that people have, that we didn’t think anyone could have.”

While Huguenin says those memories paint a different picture for everyone, he thinks our shared experience with COVID-19 is a similar story.

“There’s one thing that we lost together. And that was our normal way of living,” said Huguenin.

Huguenin helps people cope with several kinds of loss felt from the pandemic, whether it’s a job, opportunity, or a loved one.

“I tell people when they have lost loved ones,” said Hugenin. “I try to make them realize a part of who we are is a part of who that person was to us, and we have that person inside of us.”

No matter the loss, Huguenin believes coming together is a way to carry one another down a path of healing. He says the COVID-19 Vigil at FHN Memorial Hospital Wednesday evening, is a perfect example of that.

“Its a time to acknowledge what many of us have gone through privately,” said FHN CEO and President Mark Gridley. “And have that community connection to know, we’re not alone.”

For every candle that lights the night to honor a personal loss, is the hope that each person reflects and puts back the pieces the pandemic broke.

“Inside of each of your memories, are all those videos,” said Huguenin. “Prior to this pandemic, through this pandemic, and what’s to come after this pandemic.”

Hugenin suggests anyone struggling with the loss of a loved one, to think of the memories you share. Both Gridley and Hugenin add the staff at FHN is there to help anyone experiencing loss or grief.