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Abbeville 'Memory Tree' honors teen killed by drunk driver, offers opportunity to heal

Posted at 10:46 PM, Dec 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-19 17:14:34-05

ABBEVILLE — For many the holidays can be a tough time of the year, but one Christmas tree is making it a little easier for some who are grieving. Outside United Methodist Church in Abbeville, you'll find the memory tree, where people can remember those they've lost.

"When you're making your list out and you have that one less present to buy, it just really hits you," Tillie Richard said.

The trees were started by the family of Sydney Colomb. She would have been 17 years old this year, but in February of 2018, she and a friend were killed by a drunk driver.

"Our world as well as Alana's worlds just sort of crumbled, it's surreal. You never think something like that would happen to you," said Tillie Richard, Sydney's godmother.

For Sydney's family, like so many others, the holidays are especially tough. So they started the memory tree as way to cope and help those who are experiencing the same emotions.

"Last Christmas was very, very hard. She always loved Christmastime. She was always excited, and not to see her excited for her presents and even just being with family is very difficult," Richard said.

The two trees are covered with ornaments, allowing families to reflect and keep memories alive.

"We're not alone. We're in the same boat as them, and we're in this together," Richard said.

The Abbeville United Methodist Church will have a 'Blue Christmas Service' on December 22ND at 4:30 pm- 5:30 pm. During the service they will read off each name on the two trees. If you would like to hang up an ornament, you can do so before the service. The church is located at 213 North State St.