Loved ones remembered in Surrey dove release

Annual memorial event held Sunday at Bear Creek Park

  • Nov. 7, 2016 5:00 a.m.

Vince Shoemaker releases a dove in memory of a loved one at an event staged by the Surrey Hospice Society on Sunday.

By Denise Ryan, PNG

SURREY — Remembrance Day has a special meaning for Surrey school principal Lisa Jamieson. Two years ago, on Nov. 11, her father, Tom Blinkhorn, died at age 80.

“There is no timeline to grief,” said Jamieson, who joined other mourners Sunday for a memorial dove release at Bear Creek Park in Surrey.

Although her dad had lived a long and fulfilling life, said Jamieson, the grief is real. “It doesn’t matter what age a person passes away, it still leaves behind a loss.”

What drew her to participate in the event was the symbolic nature of the dove — peace — and the gesture of release.

“It’s me letting my dad know that he is still remembered. I will never forget the impact of the person he was.”

Rebecca Smith, executive director of Surrey Hospice Society, said the dove release is an annual event for anyone who wants to remember a loved one.

“It’s a memorial and an acknowledgment of release of pain. There is a connection between a person and the dove,” said Smith.

The society provides support in the community, in homes and in palliative-care units.

“We support people who are facing end-of-life through a terminal illness, we are companions for people so no one is ever alone when they die or in their grief.”

Jamieson received support from the society during the later stages of her father’s fight with dementia, and afterward. Jamieson said she was so closely involved with her dad’s care that she didn’t have time to deal with the emotions she was feeling. “You’re so involved in the day-to-day care and then suddenly they’re gone and you are left to process this on your own.”

Just the other day, says Jamieson, she was driving past a funeral home and she suddenly burst into tears. “The hospice understands that it’s OK to grieve,” said Jamieson.

The birds used in the release are trained homing doves, comfortable with humans, and able to find their way back to their trainer after their release. The dove release is an annual event and helps to raise funds for the non-profit society. Participants are asked to make a $50 donation to the Surrey Hospice Society. The society has a team of trained staff and over 90 volunteers offering respite and support to families in need.

“No one every fully recovers from a loss, you just learn to deal with it,” said Jamieson, who was especially moved that the ceremony took place so close to Remembrance Day. “My dad was a school principal, and he placed a great value on the day. He always made sure every Remembrance Day was a day of respect.”

 

 

Just Posted

More than 1,000 Surrey rental units at risk if government imposes new policy, Urban Development Institute warns

Survey of 30 rental unit builders indicates 12,631 BC rental homes at risk of delay or cancellation

Peace Arch Hospital Foundation hits $10-million goal

New 200-bed residential facility now fully funded, officials announce

‘Is that the real colour?’: Council approves Cloverdale field house design after initial hesitation

Cloverdale Athletic Park’s new field house was designed to look like a red barn

Police renew call to ID suspect who pushed Surrey man into traffic near PNE

VPD haven’t received enough tips in the months since

Delta mayor hires former running mate as executive assistant

Param Grewal, who ran on George Harvie’s Achieving for Delta slate, is the mayor’s new director of public engagement and intergovernmental affairs

VIDEO: E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Koi-munching otter avoids trap in Vancouver Chinese garden

Park staff have set up a trap with chicken and smeared a mat with fish oil, so far to no avail

Feds give formal notice for law to end Canada Post strike

Trudeau government ready to legislate employees back to work after five weeks of rotating strikes

Lower Mainland suspect identified in fatal northern B.C. hit and run

Suspect and seven other individuals believed involved located on Haida Gwaii

‘Bait and switch’ warning ahead of Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Competition Bureau of Canada is warning shoppers of illegal sale tactics

Legal battle ahead for suspended B.C. legislature executives

Public removal ‘very unfair,’ says veteran clerk Craig James

B.C. sees biggest spike in homicides across Canada, at 34%

Much of the killing was attributed to gang violence, according to Statistics Canada

Sea lion tangled in rope on Vancouver Island

Marine debris is a ‘significant problem’ for marine wildlife

Postal strike affects charities at critical fundraising time

Canadian fundraising professionals and charities join call for fast resolution

Most Read