Take time to celebrate a life and grieve together

Grief can be the loneliest feeling at any time of year. But in a global pandemic, with holidays approaching, grief is even lonelier.

That’s why Victoria Hospice invites everyone to join together to celebrate the lives of people we have lost – whether this year or long ago.

Victoria Hospice’s Celebrate a Life virtual gathering of memories and reflections kicks off on National Bereavement Day, Nov. 17, 2020.

Hospice volunteer, Carol Ann, celebrates the life of her beloved grandson.

Since 1985, Victoria Hospice events have provided meaningful ways for people to honour loved ones, including by placing personalized tribute ornaments on Celebrate a Life trees in local malls at this time of year.

This year, events have shifted to connecting online with tributes and memories.

“This year we especially want to recognize the hardship and complications the pandemic has placed on everyone who is grieving,” says Victoria Hospice Community Relations and Events Officer Wendy Innes. “We have created a virtual space on our website where people are invited to dedicate a star to a loved one they have lost, and community members share their memories and tributes on our Celebrate a Life page.”

To request a star ornament that you can mail in to be hung on the Hospice tree or to keep for your own tree call 250-519-1744.

You can post a tribute to a loved one, read reflections from community members ,and share your ownon Victoria Hospice’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagramchannels.

Celebrate a Life supports Victoria Hospice’s commitment to care through Bereavement Services, which includes professional counselling, grief support groups and information about grief. Victoria Hospice Bereavement Services relies almost entirely on community donations to support over 2,500 local families each year.

The trauma and disruption of 2020 has highlighted the need for extending ourselves to others despite the pandemic, says Victoria Hospice CEO Kevin Harter.

“Kindness and connection are what’s needed most by the community of people who have experienced, or are experiencing, or will experience grief. That’s every single one of us,” he says.