Annual hospice memorial trees return in Quesnel to honour lost loved ones

Willis Harper Home Hardware is proud to support the Quesnel and District Hospice Palliative Care Association said general manager Matthew Maglio. This marks the second year the downtown store has hosted their celebrate a life memorial trees. (Rebecca Dyok photo)Willis Harper Home Hardware is proud to support the Quesnel and District Hospice Palliative Care Association said general manager Matthew Maglio. This marks the second year the downtown store has hosted their celebrate a life memorial trees. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
There are two memorial trees in Quesnel for people to honour their departed loved ones this holiday season. (Rebecca Dyok photo)There are two memorial trees in Quesnel for people to honour their departed loved ones this holiday season. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

The Quesnel and District Hospice Palliative Care Association (QDHPCA) invites everyone to turn on a Christmas tree lightbulb and take home a crocheted butterfly in memory of their loved ones this holiday season.

Celebrate a life memorial trees can be found until the end of this month in downtown Quesnel inside Willis Harper Home Hardware.

While the holiday season is usually a time of joy, it can be challenging to cope with loss and grief, which may be compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and recent flooding in southern B.C.

”There are so many things that we can keep doing and keep going to feel like our lives haven’t been completely turned upside down,” said QDHPCA executive director Suzannah Meir.

“I would say try to keep as much of your life as normal as possible, and know that there has got to be a light at the end of this tunnel and just keep reaching for it, and living your life day to day, and definitely don’t let boredom overtake you.”

The QDHPCA crocheted more than 1,000 butterflies with the help of community members for this year’s memorial trees.

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Meir said the addition has been a nice way to pull everyone together, as the novel coronavirus has made it difficult to volunteer and participate in events.

“The tree is all dark when the event first happens, and as people fill up the trees with their memorial cards, they turn the lightbulbs on and the goal is that all the butterflies hopefully go home with people.”

This marks the second year Willis Home Hardware has hosted the memorial trees, said general manager Matthew Maglio.

At the store people not only have the opportunity to celebrate those who have touched their life but also make a donation to the QDHPCA.

“It’s an organization which we hold dear to us, and we want to make sure that we support them as much as we can,” Maglio said, noting they hope to continue hosting the trees in the years to come.

“It’s a nice way to make sure that people do have a way to remember.”

The two memorial trees can be viewed at Willis Harper Home Hardware during regular business hours.

After the holidays, Meir will burn the memorial cards placed on them in a bonfire.


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