More than 70 people came out for the evening candlelight vigil held recently at Derek Doubleday Arbouretum. The Walk to Remember event marks national bereavement day. (Shannon Todd Booth/Special to Langley Advance Times)

More than 70 people came out for the evening candlelight vigil held recently at Derek Doubleday Arbouretum. The Walk to Remember event marks national bereavement day. (Shannon Todd Booth/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Walk to Remember will be repeated

Organizers of a bereavement event at Derek Doubleday Arbouretum want to do it again

Moving forward, the third Tuesday of November will be marked with a Walk to Remember in Langley.

Despite the torrential rains that plagued B.C. the day before, at least 75 people were able to come together at Derek Doubleday Arbouretum on Nov. 16 for a candlelight walk and a little time of reflection on a loved one they’ve lost.

It was the inaugural Walk to Remember, hosted by Langley Hospice Society and the Langley Division of Family Practice, to mark National Bereavement Day. And the participation – despite the recent flooding – has organizers looking to make this as an annual event, said hospice’s Shannon Todd Booth.

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“It went well, we were counting on that sun we saw in the forecast for Tuesday… overnight the water had drained significantly off the site, by the time we were setting up the skies were blue and the paths were clear,” she said.

The team was on-site much of the day, decorating and setting up for the evening walk and handing out ornaments to community members who personalized the tokens and hung on trees around the arbouretum.

“We saw many visitors throughout the day, some by themselves for quiet reflection, and some came with their families – all to remember loved ones with a memorial ornament,” Todd Booth said, noting that throughout the day they saw about 150 guests, half of which came for the evening walk.

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Ahead of the group stroll, participants heard a few words from Langley Hospice Society’s new executive director Ann Walsh, as well as Langley Division of Family Practice board chair Dr. Caroline Van Schagen. There was also a poem reading from Linda Sheridan, the adult bereavement coordinator with hospice, all which set a tone for the walk around the park led by piper, Rob Kennedy, a member of the Township of Langley firefighters.

“We’ll definitely do it again,” said Todd Booth.

“The last couple of years have really shown us that there is much we can’t control, but we have also continued to learn the power of showing up… of holding space for people and walking alongside them, whatever their journey.”

Dr. Van Schagen expressed it well when she said: “…in grief, it’s our presence that is a gift.”

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More than 70 people came out for the evening candlelight vigil held recently at Derek Doubleday Arbouretum. The Walk to Remember event marks national bereavement day. (Shannon Todd Booth/Special to Langley Advance Times)

More than 70 people came out for the evening candlelight vigil held recently at Derek Doubleday Arbouretum. The Walk to Remember event marks national bereavement day. (Shannon Todd Booth/Special to Langley Advance Times)