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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Hungry Hearts Gala goes virtual with new mac and cheese competition

Results will be announced on Facebook live stream event

GVPL staggers reopening of three more branches in Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria

More Greater Victoria Library branches to reopen in August

Gaps in the system: Youth cope with homelessness in Greater Victoria

Four-part series will look at youth homelessness in the region

Museum asks British Columbians for COVID-19 nature observations

Royal BC Museum collects information as part of ongoing pandemic project

Oak Bay pool to reopen Aug. 17

Swimming, other activities return this month

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

New mothers with COVID-19 should still breastfeed: Canada’s top doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam made the recommendation during World Breastfeeding Awareness Week

Most Read