Megan Deyman right and Cathy MacDonald presented the Haliburton Kawartha Lakes Northumberland Drug Strategy to Haliburton County council during an Oct. 23 meeting. /CHAD INGRAM Staff

Special service addresses grief during the holidays

Submitted by Mary Anne Swagerman

The Christmas season for many is a magical time where there is laughter family traditions and gatherings special foods. But for some this season is a difficult time. A loved one will not be sitting at the dinner table this year or has not been there for a few years now.

Grief at this time can cause great sadness for those who have lost a loved ones. They struggle to feel happy and they shy away from taking part in the events that make this time of year special.

“My wife use to make the best Christmas pudding I have ever tasted” said a tearful husband.

“Who is going to carve the turkey this year” lamented a mourning wife.

A grieving parent whispered “My daughter use to love this time of year.”

Many memories of loved ones who have died bring the colour of grey to the season of green red and white. “Tinsel and Tears” is a Christian based service put on by the Churches of Haliburton. They want to give those who are grieving gifts of hope and good memories this Christmas. They want to let grieving people know that their loved ones are not forgotten even though they are no longer with them. They want to let them know that they are not alone in this journey.

Here are some thoughts from previous participants of the services held over the past years.

“Unfortunately in our day and in this world we live in many prefer not to acknowledge the pain and loneliness of the bereaved and grieving. The journey we are on cannot be rushed. It can take years to adapt to our new lives. Christmas time is a time that can bring great joy or sadness. Memories flood our minds of Christmases past. I have found that being gathered together in this candlelight service is a wonderful way of honouring our lost loved ones and a caring way to support one another.”

“The Light in the Darkness Blue Christmas allowed me the opportunity to focus on my mom in a quiet and meaningful way remembering who she was and being able to reflect on the person she was and the gift she was to me. Mom was 86 when she passed away and I will always be so grateful for the time we had with her and for all the wonderful memories.”

Pastor Garry Swagerman from the Eagle Lake Community Church has facilitated several grief groups. He says “Many people feel alone in their grief but coming to this kind of service will show them that they indeed are not alone.”

The Tinsel and Tears service will be held on Dec. 8 at the Haliburton United Church at 2 p.m. Refreshments will be served after the service.

Come join with others who find it hard to see the tinsel through the tears of their grief. Come join with others to share in the hope that is so much a part of this season.

For further information contact Pastor Garry 705-455-7467.