Experiencing the loss of your life partner can leave an unexplainable emptiness; an experience that no one should ever have to recover from alone. It is for this reason that in 1996, in an effort to fill that void and create a renewed sense of hope, Hightower Family Funeral Home’s Carrollton location established Circle of Friends, the area’s first support group for widows.
The groups meet once a month for a covered-dish meal and a special program from local interests, businesses, entertainers, and the like. The groups travels together every year or so. The groups also volunteer in their respective communities by hosting monthly birthday parties for senior citizen centers or groups and various assisted living centers. They also participate in a remembrance program every year around the holidays by providing refreshments for those who have lost a loved one during that year.
“The death of a spouse is one of the toughest life experiences many people ever encounter,” stated Debbie Daniell, Circle of Friends III Director (Douglasville). “Their life as they have known it has been turned upside-down. Many are unsure how to function without their spouse. All of our ladies have lost their husband to death and are generally hesitant to or uncertain how to begin the new life—alone—outside of their children, family, or the closest of friends.
“Our group is not a sad or depressing group—in fact it is the opposite! We have fun—yes, we have fun. These ladies have all been there and they are able to help others who are following in some of their same footsteps. We have a blast during our monthly meetings and when we travel together! Some folks choose to be alone and that is certainly their choice. Our ladies were not given a choice but they all have chosen to join our group and form new friendships and life-long bonds.
“The Hightower family takes great pride in serving our communities during life’s most difficult moments; however, it is their support for the community before there is a ‘need’ for their service and even after the service is over that has impressed me as well.”
Hightower Family Funeral Homes sponsors the Circle of Friends and provides chartered bus transportation for all group travel and support to each group with the use of their Family Care Centers for meals and events, among various other needs.
“We invite and encourage any lady who has experienced the loss of their spouse to consider attending the group that’s most convenient to you,” said Bryant Hightower, a third-generation funeral director and co-owner of Hightower Family Funeral Home. “My father, Richard and my brother, Bill, along with our entire staff and I believe you will find strength, hope, and healing through the fellowship and support of the “Circle of Friends.” Building lasting friendships and relationships are two of the most memorable and important traditions my grandfather, the late H.B. Hightower, instilled in my Dad, brother, and me. ‘Life’s most treasured moments are best shared with family and good friends’ he would say.”
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