The joviality of Christmas can be hard to handle for those who have experienced the death of a loved one or other negative life-altering events.
That’s why there are groups in the community that offer a quiet space for those who find the holidays an emotionally challenging time. The following events are offered free of charge.
Brookswood Baptist hosts a Blue Christmas service starting Friday at 6 p.m.
It’s the first time the church has held a non-denominational service of this kind.
“It is okay to be sad during Christmas,” said Pamelina Chang, the church’s youth pastor and community liaison.
The service is open to all and is not solely Christian but suitable for all faiths.
“All the pain and suffering that people experience during the season is the same,” Chang said.
The idea for hosting such as service came from a need seen in the church community.
“We saw an increase in the church in the past few years, just more people who have a hard time this time of year,” she said.
As well, the church has had more people come in asking for help for family.
The service will include music and the lighting of candles to represent the sentiments involved in significant negative events in life, such as the grief of death, trauma, significant personal loss or life change.
“Our world is so busy now you often don’t get time to reflect,” she said. “One of the most important things about going through grief is to be in your pain” and not ignore what is being felt.
The church is at 20561 36th Ave. and the service is followed by refreshments. People can register at eventbrite.ca or drop in as needed. The church has ample space for people including those who want to attend in support of family or friends.
The Langley Hospice Society has two workshops on Dec. 3. Coping with Grief During the Holidays is for those grieving. People can access help and information on how to navigate the holiday season.
“Once again, we’re approaching the holiday season, and although it is a festive time of sharing and goodwill, with family and friends coming together during this joyous season of celebration, for many who have experienced the death of a loved one, it can be a difficult and overwhelming time,” said Shannon Todd Booth, the society’s manager of communications and funds development.
People can sign up for a free workshop that runs from 10 a.m. to noon or the two-hour evening workshop that starts at 6:30 p.m. The workshops take place at the hospice society’s program centre, 20660 48th Ave.
To allow for planning, organizers ask that people sign up in advance.
For more information or to register, contact Linda at 604-530-1115 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“If you are unable to attend this evening but would like to honour the memory of a loved one, please stop by our Celebrate A Life display at Miracle on Church Street an outdoor festival in Fort Langley,” she added.
Miracle on Church Street happens on the weekends of Dec. 6 to 8, and 13 to 15.
“The society will be hosting our memorial trees and inviting community members to remember a loved one by writing on a memorial ornament and placing it on the tree, or by making a special dedication in our Memorial Book,” Todd Booth said.