Tree of Memories
Historically, the Brockie Donovan Tree of Memories is a special evening that allows people in our community to join together in remembering our loved ones who are no longer with us to celebrate the holidays. Approximately 600 members of our community have attended the service each year for the past 22 years. It has become a tradition for many families as it provides an opportunity to take a moment during this normally busy holiday season to truly reflect and appreciate all that their loved one brought to their lives.
Sadly, Covid-19 has brought significant change and challenge to all of our lives and we too had to make changes to our 23rd Annual Tree of Memories, as we cannot safely gather as a community this year and Provincial Health restrictions would not allow it. However, we recognize that the Holidays can be a challenging time for those who’ve experienced the death of a loved one, and they can trigger intense emotions of loss. The feelings of grief can be just as painful as when they were first felt. With this in mind, we had to find a way to still honour and remember those we have lost in our community in a safe manner, so we invited those in our community to call us so we would prepare and place on our Tree of Memories a memorial ornament on their behalf.
It is our hope that by honouring the memory of those we have lost in this way will provide those grieving with some peace as they face the Holidays without their loved one.
There is often pressure on grieving individuals (either internally, or from others) to put aside their sadness and hurt and be full of joy and thanksgiving. However, memories of their loved one resurface during events where their loved one would have been. It is our hope this article written by leading grief psychologist, Dr. Alan Wolfelt, will help you understand how to help yourself heal during the holiday season, or how to support someone you know who is grieving over the holidays.
“Holidays are time spent with loved ones” was imprinted on our psyche from a young age. They are part of the milestones we share with each other and they generally represent time spent with family. But since holidays are for being with those we love the most, how on earth can anyone be expected to cope with them when a loved one has died? For many people, this is the hardest part of grieving, when we miss our loved ones even more than usual. The need for support may be the greatest during the holidays. There are a number of ways to incorporate your loved one and your loss into the holidays. It is our hope this video will give you guidance as you face the holidays without your loved one.