Families celebrate first Thanksgiving without loved ones lost to COVID
BATON ROUGE - As COVID cases trend downward and holiday gatherings make a return, there might be an empty seat at some dinner tables.
Many families are still grappling with the heartbreaking loss of relatives from the virus. Pandemic restrictions and other factors prevented memorial services from being held, which is why Thom Holley's family made Thanksgiving day an alternative.
Holley passed away from the virus on Aug. 28, just a day before Hurricane Ida struck south Louisiana. His family was never able to hold a funeral as a result of the devastation from the storm.
"So we went from the hospital to hurricane preparation and no electricity. So I knew instantly we were going to do a memorial service, but it just had to be Thanksgiving. This is our day," said Judy Holley, Thom's widow.
Holley's family gathered at their home in Baton Rouge to celebrate his life on his favorite holiday. They continued his annual tradition of "burning the bird" which involved pouring a flaming hot liquid over a baked turkey.
Countless families are experiencing the same thing on Thanksgiving day, which is why Judy had one last piece of advice.
"Take it day by day, step by step. That's all you can do. Being surrounded with family and friends is the best way we can remember him."
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Parents say Baton Rouge police took 20 minutes to respond to potential...
'It's a long time coming': Iberville Parish President pleased with potential bridge...
In wake of two boating fatalities, Pointe Coupee officials hoping for safe...
Some hurricane plans to change in Tangipahoa after Ida
Location for new bridge narrowed down to three options, all in Iberville...
Southern baseball walks off Jackson State in SWAC Tournament
Southern baseball wins game one 21-2 over Alcorn
VIDEO: Former Saints and Tiger Devery Henderson talks about the difference between...
New NCAA rules tweak opens door for more SEC dominance
VIDEO: Devery Henderson Talk about Bluegrass Miracle and the Saints "Rebirth game"