Lighting up for a life

Lighting up for a life Hospice Yukon would like to invite everyone to the opening ceremony for the 21st annual Lights of Life event on Thursday, December 15. The ceremony begins at 12:15 p.m. in the foyer of the Elijah Smith Building. We will be joined b

Hospice Yukon would like to invite everyone to the opening ceremony for the 21st annual Lights of Life event on Thursday, December 15. The ceremony begins at 12:15 p.m. in the foyer of the Elijah Smith Building. We will be joined by the Persephone Singers and light refreshments will be served.

Lights of Life provides an opportunity to honour and remember a loved one who has died with the simple but meaningful ritual of hanging a memorial tag on a Lights of Life tree. Christmas can be a difficult time when you are grieving the loss of a loved one, whether the loss is new this year or one that happened many years ago. Taking a few moments to reflect and hang a remembrance tag can be a powerful and healing ritual during the busy holiday season. You may choose to spend a few moments on your own, come with a friend, or come as a family. Many Yukoners include Lights of Life as a treasured part of their family holiday tradition.

There are several ways in which to honour a loved one at Lights of Life. You may hang a remembrance tag on a Lights of Life tree, take one home to hang on your own tree, write in the Memory Book, or just sit for a few moments in quiet contemplation. There is also a pet tree for those wanting to remember a pet that has died.

Bringing children to take part in Lights of Life can be a wonderful way to have them remember a lost loved one. Loss is part of life and we can give children a lifelong gift by showing them positive ways of grieving and honouring their loved ones who have died.

Each year, Hospice Yukon also showcases a bereavement display at Lights of Life. This year the public is invited to be part of this exhibit. Photographs of people’s loved ones who have died will be displayed in the Elijah Smith foyer as a tribute to them and all who are grieving this holiday season.

Everyone is encouraged to contribute to this display by bringing in copied photographs of loved ones who have died. You may also include a short paragraph about them, or a poem if you like. Copied photographs may be brought or mailed to Hospice House at 409 Jarvis St. weekdays between 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. You may also bring the copy of your photograph directly to the Lights of Life tree for display between December 15 and 23.

The Lights of Life trees at the Elijah Smith Building will be available for hanging tags after the opening ceremony on Thursday until 5 p.m. and weekdays until December 23 during business hours. Hospice volunteers will be there to offer support and to provide information about Hospice Yukon services.

Lights of Life trees will also be available at Hospice House, the Whitehorse General Hospital, Macaulay Lodge, Copper Ridge Place, the Thomson Centre, the Kwanlin Dun Wellness Centre, Heritage North Funeral Home and at the Youth of Today Society. We are pleased that this year all Yukon communities will be holding their own grieving ritual with memory trees. Communities should check their own bulletin boards for more information.

Lights of Life is made possible by the many volunteers and local businesses who give generously of their time and other contributions to this meaningful program every year. Thank you all once again.

Cathy Routledge

Hospice Yukon Society