NewsCoronavirusTeam Kentucky


"Hugs From Home" helps loved ones say goodbye from a distance

Posted at 8:28 PM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-20 20:28:08-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Families who have lost a loved one know funerals are limited to ten people under restrictions due to the pandemic. 77-year-old Elsie June Beckham's loved ones recently went through that heartache.

Beckham's daughter-in-law was surprised when she saw white balloons inside the chapel at the Clark Legacy Center in Frankfort last Friday. Each balloon tied to a chair with a note of love from someone who couldn't attend the funeral.

"As we read the cards, we realized in our hearts, that was like they were there when they weren't actually present," Donna Whortenbury said. "It was absolutely wonderful. It was truly a blessing to the family."

David Clark, who owns The Clark Legacy Centers in Frankfort and Lexington, started "Hugs from Home." He says people can go to his website and write a message to a grieving family. His staff will then write a handwritten note that's attached to a balloon that is tied to a chapel chair.

Clark says he had to do something to help grieving families during the pandemic.

"We were having service after service with ten people and all these empty chairs in the chapel," Clark noted. "My heart was just breaking, their friends couldn't be here."

Beckham's children and grandchildren appreciated the personal touch.

"They weren't just doing a job, the funeral home to me, wasn't just doing a job," Whortenbury said. "I see so many people trying to make such a difficult situation greater and easier for families."

She says the family will have a celebration of life for Beckham in the future at Frankfort Capitol Church of God.