Friday, December 26, 2014

"Tree of Lights"

 An Affirmation of Your Loved Ones' Lives 

More and more each day we miss him;
Friends may think the wound is healed.
But they little know the sorrow
Lying within our hearts concealed.
(Unknown Author)

Many a day her name is spoken.
And many an hour she is in our thoughts.
A link in our family chain is broken.
She is gone from our home…but not from our hearts.
(Unknown Author)

On Monday, December 22, 2014 Bereaved Families of Ontario~South Central Region hosted a 'Family Tree of Lights' to honour children, siblings, spouses and parents who have died.  The Markey family has graciously donated the special 50-foot blue spruce tree, which was decorated with crystal-clear lights that will shine brightly as a living memory from December 22 through to the New Year.

The lights lit at the lighting ceremony during the event are an affirmation of  your loved ones' lives and they acknowledged cherished memories.  A complete listing of all the loved ones was published on December 24 in a special advertisement donated by The Hamilton Spectator.  The name listing was also posted on the Bereaved Families website at  and mailed to donors accompanying their tax receipt, as well as read aloud at the event.

“The event is open to anyone who would like to honour their loved one(s) during the week of Christmas,” said Lisa Lesnicki-Young, Executive Director, Bereaved Families of Ontario, South Central Region. The Family Tree of Lights has been held for four years and this year's ceremony was held at Bay Gardens in West Burlington from 7 to 8:30 pm.

Entering Bay Gardens, visitors were greeted by the beautiful sounds of the Sons of Italy Choir and complimentary desserts, hot chocolate and coffee provided for all guests.  Children had the opportunity to make an angel ornament to take home.  The Bereaved Families signature 2014 glass Angel Ornament would be for sale.  The event took place indoors except for the tree lighting outdoors. A tribute carol was sung around the tree.

“Grief can sideswipe you when you don't expect it,
when you think you have everything together...
the Family Tree of Lights is a symbol of hope,
that you are not alone in your grief
and to reach out to us when you need support.”

“We created an event at one of the most difficult times of the year because many of the people who attend, are bereaved children and parents who have been to our grief-support-programs and TLC Family Camp at YMCA Wanakita,” said Lesnicki-Young. “We have learned from them that having a special acknowledgment event during the week of Christmas gives them an outlet to honour their loved ones  in a supportive environment where the people who are also attending...understand.”

Pearls of Wisdom
We do not remember the days. We remember the moments.
(Cesar Pavese)

The truth is ~
“You don’t  know what is going to happen tomorrow.
Life is a crazy ride…and nothing is guaranteed.”

Submitted by Merle Baird-Kerr...December 25, 2014
To comment on 'Tree of Lights' to:


  1. SHERRIE WRITES: "And that is so true! My sister lost her only son to a drunk driver 20 years ago...and the pain still sears her and all our family to this very day. She will be in pain forever, mourning...until she meets him again. So tragic for everyone who has ever experienced this."

  2. The tragedy is that this accident should not have occurred...making this 'loss of life'...a Greater Loss!
    Thank you, Sherrie, for these condolences.
    Makes us realize that "Life is a Gift" to be cherished.