We all choose to remember our loved ones in different ways, but for many people, it’s important to have a place where they can go to find solace.
It can be a grave marked with a headstone, a bench with a plaque — or a niche in a columbarium.
To date, Lake Cowichan and the surrounding communities have had no local place for someone to be buried, and indeed, no place like a columbarium where someone could be remembered.
Residents must drive sometimes a significant distance to visit the graves or other markers of loved ones in Duncan, Cedar or even farther afield.
We think it is past time for Lake Cowichan to offer a place in the community where people have the option of remembering their loved ones.
While of course we can think of those we’ve lost at any time and in any place, whether it’s on the lakeshore or in the forest, in our kitchen or while we shovel the snow from the driveway, for many a specific memorial place, dedicated to remembering can offer something that people need.
It can provide a time and place set aside for processing emotions. It can be a place you can show to future generations where you can share the stories of those who have gone before.
It can be a spot where you can block out all of the everday things that clutter our minds and our days, and provide a meditative calm where we can honour those we’ve lost.
Which is why we think a columbarium is an excellent idea for Lake Cowichan, and we applaud the town for seriously scouting for appropriate land.
An actual graveyard is problematic, as it requires a large amount of land and is seriously limited by type of terrain.
There are those whose traditions require burial, of course, and it would be nice if they, too, at some point in the future, could have somewhere that their loved ones can rest, in the community they called home.
But there are roadblocks and expenses that make such an endeavour tough at this time.
But a columbarium is certainly a step in the right direction, as it requires significantly less land and can accommodate many at minimal cost.
Such a site should cause no objections from neighbours, as they tend to be quiet places that are well cared for and made to be attractive.
It shouldn’t cost the taxpayers a bunch of money, either, as these sites usually pay for themselves through fees for the service provided.
A columbarium for the town is an idea whose time has come.