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      O'Donnell Funeral Home lends healing hand to those missing loved ones

      For the 10th year, the James O'Donnell Funeral Home in Hannibal has reached out a healing hand to those who have lost loved ones.

      Reminding them that they are not alone and that life does go on.

      Christmas hymns and candle lights were just part of the special memorial service at the James O'Donnell Funeral Home.

      Funeral Director Jim O'Donnell explains why this special service has become a 10 year tradition for those who have lost loved ones.

      "It's just a small way that we can help to bring a quiet time of reflection and a brief ceremony to give them some time to reflect and just maybe help them through a holiday season." O'Donnell said.

      That's a sentiment shared by Donna and Gary Brown who said the ceremony had extra special meaning for them.

      "We just buried Gary's mother yesterday (Saturday) and looking forward to the Christmas season is going to be hard," Donna Brown said. "But as Pastor Tim said the hope that we have is in Christ Jesus and that we can go into this knowing that he's there to help us and hold us and carry us through."

      This year the O'Donnell Funeral Home added something extra to the event, special pages to give people a chance to tell their loved ones now how much they mean to them.

      "It's just a way to say the meaningful things today," Jim O'Donnell said. "But also tell those important stories that make life so special and make those relationships so special."

      And that's a good idea for all of us this Christmas season.

      Jim O'Donnel encouraged everyone to give their "Dear" letter to someone they love or to share their sentiments with others on the funeral home website .