The Orillia Garden of Remembrance ceremony is going virtual this year.
Each year members of the community gather to remember those who are no longer with us. Typically, there is live music, poetry readings, and the opportunity for community members to plant a flower in memory of their lost loved ones.
This year’s virtual event will present the same opportunities, says Hospice Orillia bereavement services coordinator Louise Brazier.
“We are going to offer a very similar ceremony to what we’ve done in the past but it will all be virtual," Brazier explained.
The pre-recorded ceremony will become available to the community via the Hospice Orillia Facebook page on Thursday, June 18 at 6:30 p.m.
The ceremony will feature community members doing readings and will be illustrated by photos of flowers being planted in people's home gardens in memory of their lost loved ones.
“It makes it easier for people to participate and we are hoping it makes It more accessible for our guests who attend,” Brazier said.
In a time when there are strict restrictions on the number of people who are allowed to attend funerals, Brazier says the ceremony might provide some mourning community members the opportunity to obtain some personal comfort.
“We know this is a need in the community, probably more than in previous years,” she said. “Because of the restrictions on funerals right now, people don’t get that closure and that official goodbye.”
Even though this year’s ceremony takes a virtual approach, Brazier says the authenticity of the event will be preserved.
“We can still do something meaningful to pause, reflect, and have a ceremony.”
Typically, 60 to 75 community members attend the annual ceremony and Brazier expects even more to tune in with the virtual approach.
“A lot of people in our community rely on this event. It gives people that time and space to go and grieve,” she said.
For those who plan on following along virtually and would like their loved one’s name or picture added to the ceremony, you can visit the event's Facebook page.
Or for more information, visit the Hospice Orillia website.