Bittersweet Valentine’s Day Celebration in Williamsport

WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. -- A funeral home in Lycoming County is hoping to help widow and widowers celebrate this Valentine's Day.

They're celebrating love this Valentine's Day, even though almost everyone at Newberry Christian Fellowship in Williamsport has recently lost a loved one.

People normally reach out to Sarah Kieser when they are getting ready to say goodbye to their loved ones.

Kieser is the funeral director at Knight-Confer Funeral Home in Williamsport.

"Everything with Valentine's Day is for couples. It's dinner for two, 'what are you getting them?'"

It's why Kieser decided to invite widows and widowers to a Valentine's Day celebration at a church not far from her funeral home.

Surrounded by flowers and hearts, the group sat down to lunch and listened to music

Kieser met many of these people during one of the most difficult times in their lives. Now she's encouraging them to hold on to the love and not the loss.

"Sharing some memories and continuing to talk about their loved ones would be the best thing for them," Kieser said.

Fred Lovell lost his wife Brenda in 2015. Support from his family and friends has been his biggest blessing.

"It's nice to get out and mingle with other people," Lovell said.

"It's not that it's a dating network, by any means, but if that's what they get from it, I guess that's OK," Kieser said.

Everyone had a single rose by their seat. It's a sweet treat for those missing their sweetheart.

"My new word for life is bittersweet. I feel like that just describes a lot of life now. While I'm happy, I'm enjoying it. It's still that back of your mind, what could have been, what should have been," said Virginia Weigle.

Weigle's husband Billy died suddenly in September. She was reluctant to come.

"At first, I was. I'm like, 'oh, that's kind of in my face, guess what you don't have a partner on Valentine's Day,' but overall it worked out," Weigle said.

"Because Valentine's Day isn't just for husband and wife. It's to share God's love with everyone," said Elizabeth Lightbourn.

"It's great to see other people who genuinely care, and they genuinely care," Weigle added.

Care enough to spend time together on Valentine's Day.

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