VIDEO: Tree of Remembrance celebration in Duncan brings comfort to bereaved

Members of the Threshold Choir and the general public admire the beauty and significance of the fully lit Tree of Remembrance outside Cowichan District Hospital on Dec. 6. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Members of the Threshold Choir and the general public admire the beauty and significance of the fully lit Tree of Remembrance outside Cowichan District Hospital on Dec. 6. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Nowadays, it’s common for people to record their own celebration to carry the memories forward. 
(Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Nowadays, it’s common for people to record their own celebration to carry the memories forward. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Cari Burdett’s Threshold Choir sings specially prepared music during the celebration. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Cari Burdett’s Threshold Choir sings specially prepared music during the celebration. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
A large crowd gathers for the event, which includes appropriate songs by the Queen Margaret’s School choirl. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)A large crowd gathers for the event, which includes appropriate songs by the Queen Margaret’s School choirl. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Lyn Weaver of the Cowichan Intercultural Society speaks to the crowd to help ease the pain of Christmas without a loved one. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Lyn Weaver of the Cowichan Intercultural Society speaks to the crowd to help ease the pain of Christmas without a loved one. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Abigail Catton, in front, and Tammy Weber remember parents and grandparents as they add their light to the night. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Abigail Catton, in front, and Tammy Weber remember parents and grandparents as they add their light to the night. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Inside the hospital there is another tree, where anyone can hang up a remembrance card. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Inside the hospital there is another tree, where anyone can hang up a remembrance card. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Heather Pearson remembers her grandparents by turning on a light on the Tree of Remembrance at Cowichan District Hospital. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)Heather Pearson remembers her grandparents by turning on a light on the Tree of Remembrance at Cowichan District Hospital. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Cowichan Hospice and the Cowichan District Hospital combined again Dec. 6 to offer the tender Tree of Remembrance celebration.

This long-running event, which offers comfort to those who’ve lost a loved one in the previous year, or who simply want to remember loves ones who have died, is popular with Valley folks.

The holiday season is especially hard for those who have lost a family member, and Cowichan Hospice people are also on hand to help out, if needed.

There were gentle interdenominational prayers, songs, and readings, and then everyone had the opportunity to go to the two trees and turn on a Christmas light to remember their beloved, while the Threshold Choir walked around singing and carrying candles or lanterns. Then, everyone was invited to enjoy refreshments in the hospital cafeteria.

As one newcomer said when leaving the event Wednesday night, “It wasn’t what I expected but in a way it was even better.”