A lovely Snowflake Ceremony

By David F. Rooney

The Hospice Society’s Snowflake ceremony on Sunday was a deeply bittersweet event that prompted tears and healing for the more than 60 people who participated.

“You might be here remembering a neighbour or a friend, a niece or a nephew, and aunt or uncle, a parent or a sibling,” said Hospice Executive Director Andree Rioux. “You are remembering someone.”

And indeed they were. Everyone there had lost a loved one. One noticeable change from previous years: there were several young people there who wanted to remember and pray for one or another of the young people from Revelstoke who have died in the past year.

“May the prayers from each of us make this a sacred place,” said Jill Holloway. “We trust our prayers and dedications will be heard.”

After more prayers from Gary Sulz and Pastor Rick Eby, participants young and old gathered at a table to write the names of their loved ones on paper snowflakes that were then hung from the hospice’s special tree in Queen Elizabeth Park before sipping hot mulled cider and chatting with friends or, perhaps, sharing a tears.

It was, as it is every year, a beautiful moment in time that draws our people together.

Louisa Fleming played the bagpipes beautifully at the Hospice Society's annual Snowflake Ceremony at Queen Elizabeth Park on Sunday. David F. Rooney photo
More than 60 people attended the ceremony, which was conducted beneath a beautiful December sky. Lucky for those participating the temperature was 0° Celsius — much, much warmer than last year. David F. Rooney photo
After poignant prayers and commentary from Hospice Executive Director Andree Rioux, Jill Holloway, Gary Sulz and Pastor Rick Eby, participants wrote the names of their deceased loved ones on hand-made snowflakes. David F. Rooney photo
Volunteers climbed ladders to hang the snowflakes in this beautiful oak tree. David F. Rooney photo