You are invited to decorate the Community Christmas Tree of Remembrance with messages written on cards to family members, friends and pets who have passed in the last 12 months to include them in the spirit of Christmas. For Christmas 2020, the Community Christmas Trees are located at the Shepparton Library and the Mooroopna Library.
The idea of the Community Christmas Tree of Remembrance project is to acknowledge the loss and grief of people in our community and to support the healing journey. Goulburn Valley Hospice Care Service invite people to write messages for family members, friends or pets who have died (or are absent/ overseas) to include them in the spirit of Christmas.
This project has been running for several years now and in the past we have had messages from children, messages in languages other than English, messages specifically remembering pets, messages acknowledging still born babies as well as many others. Some people have told us writing a card for our trees is now an annual Christmas ritual.
Special occasions like Christmas can be the trigger that brings on a resurgence of grief and this can often be experienced for years to come. The Community Christmas Tree of Remembrance is an opportunity for people who have had a loved one die to express their feelings at this time of year. We recognise that through disasters such bush-fire, pandemic, old age and ill health death have all been part of our community life this year past; we want to publicly offer compassionate care to those left behind.
Anyone is welcome to participate by writing a card and placing it on one of the trees. In 2020, Christmas trees are located in Shepparton and Mooroopna Libraries.
Grief, Anniversaries & Significant Events
The Australian Centre for Grief and Bereavement produces a number of resources on Grief and Bereavement events, and the handout on Grief, Anniversaries & Significant Events is available at the Community Christmas Trees in Shepparton and Mooroopna Libraries.
For those who have anxiety and anticipate distress at Christmas – New Year, this document suggests that some preparations, some planning be put in hand:
It is important to do some planning in the lead up to significant occasions. Planning can give you a greater sense of control, which can help to ease some of the anxiety and concern you may be feeling.
Occasions such as birthdays and Christmas often come with established traditions and rituals. Some people prefer to stick with traditions they have always had, but don’t be afraid to alter your traditions if you need to. Your ‘normal’ has inevitably changed, and you may prefer to create new traditions accordingly. If you decide to cancel your usual activities altogether, that’s okay too, but make sure you plan something else to do, as too much free time may leave you feeling isolated and lonely.
Share your plan with family and friends
Once you have planned how you would like the day/occasion to go, make sure you let your friends and family know that this is what you intend to do.
You can download a PDF version of Grief, Anniversaries & Significant Events
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