Sharing grief with a memory tree ceremony

Christmas can be a tough time for those grieving

A ceremony, which may help cope with sadness by sharing the pain of loss, is the annual 100 Mile District Hospice Palliative Care Society (100MDHPCS) Memory Tree Ceremony.

The upcoming holiday season brings up different emotions for some people, and for those who have experienced a loss of a love one, the holidays can be a sad time.

“When people are putting up decorations, certain baubles may bring up memories of a love one,” says (100MDHPCS) president John Tutte. “Christmas can be especially hard on people.”

The Memory Tree Ceremony will be held Dec. 9 at the 100 Mile District General Hospital cafeteria (Fischer Place entrance) starting at 6 p.m.

People are invited to participate in the ceremony, where they can share their stories of grief or just listen. Folks are also welcome to attach a Christmas light on the memory tree.

“The ceremony is intimate and people can speak if they wish.”

However, Tutte says some people may be more comfortable speaking one-on-one.

“There will be hospice members sharing, some with over 25 years experience relating their stories of loss, either personal or their hospice clients.” Tutte adds a lot of hospice volunteers are volunteers because of their own experience with death of a loved one.

After the ceremony, 100 Mile House Fire-Rescue will light up the large tree outside of the fire hall at 385 Horse Lake Rd. At that time, the names of those who have passed away will be read aloud.

Tables will be set up at Cariboo Mall on Nov. 25 (10 a.m.-7 p.m.) and 26 (10 a.m. to close) and Dec. 2-3 where bulbs will be available for donations. There will be a small tree set up in the mall as well, says Tutte.

Bulbs are also available at Donex Pharmacy & Department Store from Nov. 25 to Dec. 9.

Money raised by the bulb donations go toward equipment, says Tutte, such as the RIK fluid mattress replacement system for people confined to bed that costs between $5,000 and $8,000.

For more information, call 100MDHPCS at 250-395-7680. The office is open Monday through Wednesday from 9 a.m. to noon and the message machine is monitored regularly.