The holiday season can be a difficult time for people who are mourning the death of a loved one, whether that death occurred recently or some time ago. In an effort to help bereaved people throughout the North Thompson Valley, the local funeral home is holding its annual Christmastime Gathering. Everyone is welcome to come to the funeral home chapel in Clearwater from 2 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 12.
The event will be divided into three parts. For the first 30 minutes, representatives from several local churches will offer prayers, words of comfort, and thoughts on ways to cope during the Christmas holidays. During the second half-hour, there will be a candle lighting ceremony, and an opportunity to place a decoration on the Christmas tree in memory of a loved one who has passed away. Starting at 3 p.m. people are welcome to drop in, light a candle in memory of their loved one, and enjoy refreshments. This is a time for everyone to connect.
“This will be the seventh year we have held a Christmastime Gathering in Clearwater,” said Drake Smith, owner of North Thompson Funeral Services. “It seems to help bereaved members of our valley to come together and pay tribute to their loved one.”
Lloyd Strickland is one of several local ministers planning to participate in the first segment of the Clearwater gathering.
“Although many people may not regularly attend a church these days, I’m hoping they will come to hear some spiritual words of comfort as we head into the Christmas season,” he said. “Christmas can be a difficult time of year for people trying to come to grips with the loss of a loved one … even if that loss happened a long time ago.”
Pastor Dan Daase, of the Clearwater New Life Assembly, agrees, saying, “I think this is an important offering to the community and I’m thankful to be able to help support people through the Christmas season and into the New Year”.
For more information please call Drake Smith or MaryAnn Shewchuk at 250-674-3030.