Gathering at Aldergrove Christmas tree on Saturday to help people grieve together. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)

Gathering at Aldergrove Christmas tree on Saturday to help people grieve together. (Ryan Uytdewilligen/Aldergrove Star)

Helping Aldergrove grieve this holiday season

Informal candlelight Christmas sing-a-long to be held Saturday at Aldergrove Christmas tree

Judi Vankevich lost her mother at the start of 2020.

She told the Aldergrove Star that the difficulties stemming from social distancing measures and COVID-related closures have made it harder for her to grieve.

At a time of year when cheer is abundant and family gatherings are encouraged, Vankevich said that it can be a tough time for people who have lost someone.

Events such as Blue Light services, which annually aims to connect people during the holidays who are suffering from loss or loneliness, served as an inspiration for Vankevich to hold an event of her own.

“I drove by and saw that big, beautiful tree and thought, why don’t we do something for the people of Aldergrove,” Vankevich said.

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An Aldergrove “walk-by” candlelight Christmas carol sing-a-long will be held this Saturday, Dec. 19, at the Aldergrove Christmas tree – which stands in the Alder Inn lot at 272nd Street and Fraser Highway.

“It’s to allow people to grieve the passing of a loved one during COVID or this past few years,” Vankevich explained. “Many who didn’t get to have funerals for their loved ones.”

People are invited to stop by to the informal gathering between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Bringing a candle to light is encouraged, but Vankevich said cell phones can also be used to produce light if people wish.

”Come celebrate the life of your loved one and the hope this season brings,” she said. “And write your loved one’s name in the Book of Remembrance and Hope.”

There is no set program and reservations are not necessary.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@aldergrovestar.com

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