Bereaved Families of Ontario (BFO) will hold its annual candlelight remembrance ceremony at the Beechwood Cemetary on Sunday, Dec. 4.
The event is an opportunity for families who have lost a loved one to focus on their grief before the holidays, said BFO Ottawa region chair Micheline Lepage on The Sam Laprade Show Dec. 2.
"Grievers are kind of the silent minority. A lot of the charities and foundations in Ottawa give to research - cancer research, mental health - but very little in our community is done for those that are left behind grieving the loss of their loved ones," Lepage said.
A largely volunteer based organization, BFO offers a number of programs to the grieving community, including closed group and art therapy, and weekly and monthly sharing sessions with trained facilitators.
Lepage said the number of participants in their programs has increased substantially since the pandemic began. With restrictions in place over the last two years, some families are only getting together for funerals and celebrations of life now as those restrictions are lifted.
"Roughly, in the Ottawa area, there have been about 8,000 deaths," Lepage said, according to BFOs own statistics. "And our numbers have showed that one out of 10 families have come to BFO for some kind of support. So, our numbers are increasing."
The ceremony is being held on Sunday, Dec. 4, from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m, in person and online. Those attending in person are invited to light a candle in memory of their loved ones.
Tickets are $50 to attend in person, and $50 to watch the event live remotely. Ticket sales support BFO programs.
Participants are asked to register online ahead of the event.
Listen to the full interview with Micheline Lepage on The Sam Laprade Show below.