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Ask Your Funeral Director: Remembering lost loved ones at Christmas

On Dec. 8, a gathering will be held at Rotacrest to remember those we’ve lost
Jason Meidl is the funeral director at Creston Valley Funeral Services.

By Jason Meidl, Funeral Director at Creston Valley Funeral Services

Now that December is here, we are all preparing for the Christmas season. A time of laughter, joy, and lights abundant. Christmas in my household is one of our favourite times of the year. It’s time to play in the snow, decorate for the season, and reflect on the past year and look forward to the new year approaching.

As a funeral director, I also know this can be one of the hardest times of the year for the bereaved. We often forget that for a lot of people this might be the first Christmas spent without a special loved one. For many, the holidays are a time for family gatherings. So when a key person who used to be a big part of these celebrations is no longer with us, it can be especially difficult.

At these gatherings, I encourage you to set a place for your loved one through telling stories, continuing traditions or making new traditions, or by lighting of a candle. On Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Rotocrest Hall, I want to invite anyone who has lost someone to join us as we create a new tradition to remember and celebrate our loved ones through music, reflection, and of course, food. If this is something you would like to attend please send an email to or call 250-428-0186.

During this season, know that you are not alone and have a community surrounding you with love.

“Is there a difference between a funeral service and a memorial service?” - Val

Traditionally, a funeral service is when there is body present at the service itself with burial to follow. A memorial service is when there is no body present at the service with cremation. The only real difference between the two is whether it is full earth burial or cremation. With that being said, a service is whatever a family wants it to be. It may be a what we would consider a traditional funeral service with full earth burial, but we call it a “Celebration of Life”. What we call the service is becoming less and less important in today’s day and age. As a funeral provider, our job is to provide the service that the family wants and needs, not to tell families what they need and what to call it. One person’s service may look drastically different than the next person’s. As we are all unique individuals, this makes complete sense.

Funeral Facts – Funeral Candy

Food and grieving is a funeral tradition shared among many different cultures. During the mid-19th century in Sweden, candies were a popular funeral favour. The candies were given to funeral attendees along with wine before the funeral service began. Sometimes verses, prayers, or poems were attached to the candies. The candies were hard sugar in the form of corpses, which were wrapped in black crepe paper with fringes on the sides. The length of the fringes depicted the age of the deceased; if they were short and wide, the deceased was younger, and if they were long and thin, the deceased was older.

Keep the questions coming to!

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