The Christmas season is supposed to be filled with laughter and joy but for people who have lost someone in the past year it can also be a difficult time of year.
Gary Sulz is the owner of the Hindman Bowers funeral service and crematorium in Golden. For the second year in Golden the company is planning to hold a special candlelight service on December 15 at 7 p.m. for anyone wishing to come and remember those who are no longer with us.
Working in this industry for 31 years has given Sulz a unique perspective on how tough the Christmas season can be on people who have lost loved ones.
“The candlelight service is set up for those who have lost a love one. It is designed to bring memories out at Christmas time and to show people there is another way to get through the Christmas season,” Sulz said. “We firmly believe that grief shared is grief diminished so by bringing like minded people together, those who have suffered a loss can remember a loved one or loved ones.
Although this is the second year the event has happened in Golden, Sulz explained at their business in Revelstoke they will be holding the evening event for the fourteenth time.
The event started in Revelstoke after Sulz and his wife Chrissie (who have lost family near the Christmas season) realized how difficult this time of the year could be on people. “We asked what we needed to do. We knew there was a need for this sort of event. It seemed to work well (in Revelstoke) and after we talked to people in Golden and started it last year. We welcome everyone hopes it helps out,” Sulz said.
The evening is open to the entire community and there is no cost to attend. People receive a rose and a Christmas ornament to commemorate their loved one.
“People can shed tears, they can laugh, they can go through all kinds of emotions at this time. At the end of the service we have a bit of a reception where people can unwind and chat with others,” Sulz said.
In the end the service is a way for the family to help people get through a time of the year which is famous for happiness.
“It is said to be the most wonderful time of the year but for those who have lost a loved one it is absolutely not that. People are going out and shopping and having fun, grief can be compounded at this time of year. By bringing them together and acknowledging their loved one lived and not just that they died, we bring a sense of peace. It does not take away their grief but it helps get them through the season.”