For many people the approaching holiday season does not invite a mood of celebration. This year has been especially hard for people who have lost a loved one as well as those experiencing hardships related to the ongoing opioid crisis, broken relationships, losing their job or business, or changes in their own health. As a community, we can share these difficult and painful transitions and offer each other comfort. Knowing we are not alone in our grief can help to ease feelings of loneliness and anxiety, especially during the holiday season.

As we continue to practice social distancing, this year’s annual non-denominational Blue Christmas & Celebrate a Life service will be a video service with links available at 4pm on December 12th. These links will be accessible at comoxunitedchurch.com and comoxhospice.com, and will remain available throughout the holiday season. It’s hoped that the video service will offer a gentle time of comfort and
empathy expressed through a variety of reflective readings, poetry, and music.

Grieving the death of a loved one is never easy, and can be especially difficult during holidays. For some,
the feeling of loss makes family connections during the holidays even more important. Others may feel
the need to find an entirely different approach to holidays, or just feel numb and disengaged. Each
person’s experience is unique, and all are normal grief responses. By merging Blue Christmas with
Celebrate a Life, families can honour loved ones or acknowledge the absence in their lives during this
time.

Anyone who would like to honour loved ones can have their name(s) included in the service by calling
250-339-5533, or emailing reception@comoxhospice.com. Each name received will be written on a small
card and placed with care on the memorial tree and a candle lit in remembrance. Unless otherwise
requested, names will also be included to scroll along the bottom of the video. If you’d like to include a
photo, please email it before November 30th.

The Blue Christmas & Celebrate a Life service will be led by Reverend Keltie Van Binsbergen with
contributions from congregation members, CVHS volunteers, and other community members. For more
information please contact the Comox Valley Hospice Society at 250.339.5533.

Jane Sterk

Executive Director, Comox Valley Hospice Society