Memory Tree of Lights for those bereaved by suicide


The Northwest Bereaved by Suicide Support Group and Roe Valley Bereaved by Suicide Group are holding their annual ‘Memory Tree of Lights’ ceremonies. These events are held to remember loved ones lost to suicide and to support family and friends during the holiday season, which can be an especially difficult time. 


The North West Bereaved by Suicide Support Group will host their annual event on Sunday 11 December 2010 at 5.30pm at the Foyle Search and Rescue Headquarters, Victoria Road, Londonderry. The Roe Valley Bereaved by Suicide Groups’ memorial event will be held on Sunday 18 December at 5.00pm in the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre, Limavady. Both ceremonies are supported by the Western Health and Social Care Trust, Be Safe Be Well and The Big Lottery.


Barry McGale, Suicide Liaison Officer for the Western Trust and Facilitator for the Groups said: “We recognise how devastating a death by suicide can be but we believe by coming together with others bereaved by suicide hope and support can be offered.


“When someone dies by suicide many people are affected; families, friends and work colleagues, but all too often no one gets the opportunity to talk about how they feel.  The journey for those left behind after the loss of a loved one can be traumatic.  Many people who have been bereaved in this way have turned to local support groups.  The coming together of those similarly bereaved, regardless of when the death occurred, can provide the opportunity to be with other people who can really understand. They have been through the same experience and can offer the opportunity to gain strength and understanding from the individuals within the group.”


The simple ceremony will involve members of each support group reading some poetry and prayers.  Music will be provided by the Long Tower Choir in Londonderry and the Salvation Army choir in Limavady. Family and friends will be invited to take part in a candlelight ceremony and to leave a message to their loved one on the Christmas tree.


The Northwest Bereaved by Suicide Support Group meet the first and third Monday of the month in Foyle Search and Rescue Headquarters at 7.30pm and the Roe Valley Bereaved by Suicide Support Group meets the second Tuesday of each month in the Roe Valley Arts and Cultural Centre at 7.30pm.