Celebrations of life post COVID-19

The Ladies Auxiliary to Branch 624 of the Royal Canadian Legion have had the honour of serving the families of our community by providing refreshments for “Celebrations of Life” for local families (for either permanent residents or cottagers).
Many families have lost loved ones during the past several years and not been able to celebrate the lives of their loved ones due to COVID restrictions. Now that restrictions have been lifted it is time to gather together to celebrate the lives of those they have lost over the past two or so years. It has also allowed the Ladies Auxiliary members to get together for the first time since March 13, 2020 in comradeship and in service to the community after such a long hiatus.

Celebrations of Life are unique to the family concerned.
The first one we did was for a mother. It was in Gooderham at the McCausland Community Centre. It is always a joy to work in that kitchen as it is so well organized and maintained. The celebration was very fitting for a mother, who is loved by her family and friends. The tables were placed apart with all the appropriate safeguards in place. Fresh daffodils adorned the tables and the plates and napkins were done in a spring theme to lift the occasion.
The next one was for a son who passed long before his time. A wonderful gathering of family and friends at the Essonville Historical Church and a lunch at Branch 624 followed. The turnout was amazing and a real tribute to the family. Fresh red carnations adorned the tables giving a vibrant feel to the room. Shared memories are important to all present and help to give closure to the family.
The next Celebration of Life was a musical tribute by family and friends. I don’t think I have ever been so moved by such a tribute to a loved one. The music brought joy and lots of stories also filled the room.

There are two more scheduled Celebrations of Life coming up.
One of them is being held by the person herself who wishes to be present at their own party to say what they want to say to their loved ones. I think this approach is amazing and I am looking forward to the different side of this coin. “Doing it my way” as Frank Sinatra would say and I say “good on ya.” Maybe more people would like to follow this example and be there to say, “Goodbye” to those they love in their own way.
No regrets! Losing loved ones is never easy but gathering together to share memories with folks you have not seen in some time is good for the soul. To all those in our community, thank you for allowing us to share these celebrations with you.

The Ladies Auxiliary to Branch 624