Love after loss in Williamsport

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WILLIAMSPORT, LYCOMING COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) – For many, Valentine’s Day is a holiday to express your love, but what do you do when your loved one has passed away?

“Being alone is odd, but you look around and there’s others, join in with them,” said Marie Vannucci of Williamsport.

Nearly 60 people at St. John’s Newberry United Methodist Church all have one thing in common, they’ve recently lost a loved one.

“Well it’s a new normal, it’s really different,” said Dewane Stuck of Williamsport.

“It’s tough because I’m alone,” said Mary-Ruth Barner of Williamsport.

Barner says Valentine’s Day just isn’t the same, after her husband passed away last April.

“Right now it’s just tough. I actually found a card he had bought me, a Valentine’s Day card, and I found it in a drawer after he passed so it’s a piece of gold to me right now,” said Barner.

It’s why Sanders Mortuary Funeral Home is holding their second annual Valentine’s Day luncheon for widows and widowers. It’s a way to encourage them to hold onto the love and not the loss.

“This is just one way to keep encouraging them to get out and do things and also want them to remember their loved one,” said Sarah Kieser, Funeral Director at Sanders Mortuary.

Food and music was provided while many spent the day reminiscing on the good times they shared in their marriages.

“We belonged to this church for over 50 years and I think god was always the center of our marriage,” said Barner.

“He did his thing I did my thing and then we did things together and thats what worked for us,” said Stuck.

After being married for 57 years, Stuck believes she has the key to a successful marriage. “Love, love and togetherness,” said Stuck.

Barner says you shouldn’t take any day for granted.

“I wish I could do it all over again, to let him know as many times as he told me he loved me I should’ve said it more to him,” said Barner.

Organizers say this is an event they plan on sponsoring for years to come.

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