Friends and relatives of patients served by Heyman Hospice Care at Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center remembered their loved ones Tuesday night during a ceremony at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rome.

Candles were illuminated, and those present were given the opportunity to speak the names of those who passed away.

Heyman Hospice Care provides compassionate, comfort-oriented home care ​to patients with a life expectancy of less than six months, serving patients in Floyd, Chattooga, Polk, Bartow and Gordon counties.​ The program also provides grief support​ to help families who have experienced a loss.​

Rome’s Janet Byington was among those present at the church. Her husband, Bill Byington, died this past May.

“Hospice really helped me so much when Bill was sick, because they could answer my questions,” she said. “You don’t always want to call the doctor’s office, and you don’t always want to bother people but you have a lot of questions when a loved one is dying,” she said.

She credited hospice for bringing comfort to both her husband and family members.

 “I wish we had called them earlier because it is really just amazing what these people do,” she said. “I highly recommend hospice to people. If you haven’t been through this before, you don’t know what you need. You don’t want your loved one to be in any pain, and it is so helpful to have someone help you manage all of this.”

Casey Blankenship, program director of Heyman Hospice Care, expressed her gratitude for those who attended the service and for the families who allowed the organization to provide care.

“Thank you for allowing us to take this journey with you and your family, to hold your hand, to be a caregiver for you and your loved one,” Blankenship said. “It is the most honored position any of us could ask for, and we are grateful that you allowed us to be part of this.”