By Brianna van de Wijgaard
Every year for the past 17 years, the Williams Lake Hospice Society has hosted the annual Memory Tree Celebration during the holiday season.
This event provides an opportunity for members of our community to come together and commemorate the family and friends we have loved and lost in the past year, and beyond.
This is because, for those who have lost a loved one, the holidays can be a very difficult time.
One may feel sad, disappointed, or even guilty.
For some, it may mean a choice to avoid participating in holiday festivities all together, because it is simply too difficult.
These choices can sometimes be difficult, then, for friends and family to understand. This is why hospice recognizes the importance of creating a warm and open environment in which the bereaved may remember their loved ones, amongst those who care and understand.
It is important to recognize the many emotions that may come up at this time of year, and understand that they are OK.
Once we do, we can take the time to reflect on the memories, and perhaps begin to eventually create new ones, when one is ready.
The hospice community — board members, staff, volunteers, and members — want to provide a loving space in which to do this, and be there to support those in need.
Not everyone, however, feels comfortable remembering or mourning loved ones among others.
Often, it is a very private matter.
We would then like to take this opportunity to let the community know that hospice, and its amazing group of hospice volunteers, are here year-round.
We provide companionship, support, and respite for family members to help clients at the end of life, and we also provide grief and bereavement support for those in need.
If you do not feel comfortable attending the Memory Tree event, we encourage you to be in touch any time you feel ready.
This year the celebration will be held in the Williams Lake City Council Chambers on Sunday, Dec. 1, from 3 to 4 p.m.
Our wonderful volunteers are sitting at Save-On-Foods every day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Nov. 30, if you would like to donate and make an ornament in memory of a loved one.