Hospice helping Victoria residents celebrate departed loved ones over the holidays

Celebrate a Life tree returns to Hillside Centre on Friday

Bonnie Anderson-Stuart is pictured with her husband Jim, on their last trip to Hawaii together in 2010. She says the Celebrate a Life tree allows her to honour Jim’s memory every year. (Photo submitted)

Victoria Hospice is again helping the community celebrate loved ones who are no longer with us this holiday season.

The 32nd annual Celebrate a Life campaign begins Friday at Hillside Centre. Celebrate a Life allows members of the community to remember loved ones during the holiday season by hanging a personalized tribute ornament from Dec. 1 to 12. (This year’s tree location is next to Sears and Paris Jewellers.)

“The Celebrate a Life tree means the world to me,” said Bonnie Anderson-Stuart, who honours the memory of her late husband Jim each year.

After her husband died, Anderson-Stuart came to Victoria Hospice for grief counselling at the urging of her doctor.

“At Hospice, it was emphasized that coming back from the death of a loved one takes a long time, that grief wasn’t linear, that there was no formula for me to fall back on.”

Celebrate a Life supports Victoria Hospice’s commitment to care through bereavement services offered to family members and friends after a death.

“Having the privilege of Victoria Hospice bereavement services changed my life, said Anderson-Stuart. “And what a wonderful idea, to set up the Celebrate a Life tree and encourage the public to fill the branches with tributes.”

Dedicated Hospice volunteers will be on hand at Hillside to assist with this holiday tradition. Tributes may also be made on the virtual Celebrate A Life tree.

During the holidays, memories of past celebrations with family and friends who are no longer here can magnify feelings of loss. It can be helpful to share your concerns, feelings and apprehensions with someone. Let people know what is difficult for you, and accept offers of help. The Victoria Hospice website offers useful information for grieving families including Bereavement Tips for Special Holidays. Here are a few to consider:

  • Think about how you will respond to others when they offer holiday good wishes. You can simply say “Thank you” or “Best wishes to you”
  • Consider cutting back on your holiday traditions by not sending cards, or by enlisting the help of other people with meals and decorating.
  • Consider alternatives such as developing new traditions, going away, eating at restaurants or buying gift cards.
  • Create a special decoration and give it a place of honour.

For more information, visit www.celebratealifevictoria.ca.

Just Posted

Free firework safety courses coming to the West Shore right before Halloween

No permit? You could be fined anywhere between $100 and $10,000

Bonfires allowed in Saanich for $10 but only on Halloween night

Residents can purchase permits at any Saanich fire station

Fairfield-Gonzales residents aim to establish senior care phone line

The Fairfield-Gonzales Village would allow seniors living alone to have a direct line to resources

Vendors open doors to new futures at Black Press Extreme Education & Career Fair

More tham two dozen employers, educators signed on for Victoria event

Persons Day to be marked with literary readings in Sidney

Peninsula authors to read from their new books relating to women and courageous journeys, Oct. 18

VIDEO: Greater Victoria, here’s the news you missed this weekend

Dog killed in alleged hit and run, Goodlife Marathon takes over city and more

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

Most Read