Celebrate A Life

Remember Your Loved Ones

Celebrate a Life

The holiday season is a time for sharing memories of family and friends who are no longer with us. Join us in celebrating a life.

Dedicate a Star

Since 1985, Celebrate a Life has provided a unique opportunity for people to remember their loved ones. Each year hundreds of tributes are hung on our festive trees. Although there are no tree locations open to the public this year, you can request a star ornament be mailed to you or dedicate a star online.

Stars in Memory

Click on stars to read recent tributes.

Sharing of the Lights

In previous years, we have come together at UVic’s Multifaith Chapel for a beautiful ceremony of light and memory led by Victoria Hospice’s Spiritual Care Coordinator. This year, we’ll be offering a virtual option to reflect and remember the lives that have been shared with us. Details coming soon.

Dedicate a Star

View All Stars

Make a Donation

Grief and the Holidays

For many people, the holidays can be the most difficult time of the year. Memories of past celebrations with family members or friends who are no longer here can magnify feelings of loss, and you may feel unsure about how—or even if—to celebrate this year.

Grief has a timing of its own, sometimes appearing – or disappearing – when we least expect it. If you experience this ebb and flow of feelings – even years after your loved one died – understand that it is common and a normal aspect of the grieving process.

Tips for Coping with Grief Over the Holidays

  • Decide how you want to spend the holiday.

    Allow yourself to think about what you most need and want to do. It’s OK if you want to change things completely, just a little, or not at all.

  • Plan your activities in advance.

    Before the holiday season is in full swing, create a plan that can be adjusted according to your needs. Let people who are important to you know what your plans are and if you are open to invitations.

  • Expect things to be different.

    Holidays are often spent with the people we are closest to and you are missing someone important. You may be feeling down and not up to your usual activities. However, you may also enjoy seeing people and participating in some events.

  • Take time to care for yourself.

    Allow yourself to feel whatever you feel and to spend time alone or with others as needed. Take time out for rest and physical activity and avoid over-indulging in food and/or alcohol.

  • Be flexible about holiday traditions.

    Without the person you’ve lost, you may not be able to do all the holiday things you’d normally do. Consider reducing or foregoing activities that aren’t essential, and asking for help with anything you’d like to continue.

  • Give to others.

    Sometimes the sadness and loneliness of grief during the holidays can be lightened a little by caring for others. Consider hosting a pre- or post-holiday gathering for friends and family or perhaps volunteering at a local shelter or charity.

  • Do something to remember your loved one.

    You may want to continue a favourite tradition or start something new. Perhaps an annual walk in a special place, or creating a special ornament or decoration, or even making a holiday food item that your loved one particularly enjoyed.

Need More Support?

Victoria Hospice Bereavement Services are available to help you understand grief and adjust to your loss.
Programs are open to everyone and many are free of charge thanks to generous community support.

Contact by calling 250-519-3040 or by email at Hospice.Bereavement@viha.ca