At a holiday celebration in Dallas, the lights may be coming on, but for those in attendance there is still plenty of darkness.

“The tears just roll down your face because it’s just not right. It’s just not right,” 87-year-old Jackie Mackesey said.

Mackesey says, lately, the holidays have been hard. Over the past five years, she has buried two daughter-in-laws, a son-in-law, and her husband.

“You wander around lost,” Jackie said. “You have to pick up the pieces of your life and go forward."

Eventually, she did move forward, but although she’s dealt with her grief, she still wonders why.

“I feel like I should’ve gone before they went, so I must have a purpose,” she said.

Perhaps a tree lighting ceremony is it. The tree, and a lighted archway, are a memorial to family and friends who died too soon.

Jackie traveled 1,500 miles from Wisconsin just to be there to comfort, support, and stand beside those who are hurting. She wants them to know there is hope ahead.

“If you can be optimistic and still hold on to your loved one it’s so much better than just being unhappy and not knowing why,” she said.

When you’ve lost someone it can get pretty dark. But Jackie says this isn’t about forgetting what’s gone. Rather, it’s about letting go of the pain to hold on to the light they left behind.