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A Callanish Christmas: When Grief Comes for the Holidays

Wilson, Storm and Usha
Callanish facilitators - Janie Brown far right
Ian, Kirsten, Miles and Finnegan

All you have to do is listen to the news to know that tragedy and loss don't take a holiday at Christmas.  It can be a hard time of year for people dealing with the death of a loved one; a job; a home - illness -- many kinds of loss.

What do you do when your reality is not the 'Norman Rockwell' portrait of Christmas. When grief takes up the space where joy used to be?

For the last 17 years, a non-profit group of health professionals in Vancouver has provided nature retreats and healing support for people with cancer and their families. It's a group that knows all too well about what a delicate balancing act of joy and sadness this season can bring.

It's called 'Callanish' - named for the 3000-year-old circle of stones in the Scottish Hebrides. The name came from their Scottish founder, Janie Brown, a former nurse-practitioner at the BC Cancer Agency - and now, counselling psychologist, who wanted to bring a more holistic approach to the big issues that cancer brings.

Pamela Post brings us this documentary story of two people struggling to find new meaning this Christmas -- or just get through it -- and the Callanish community that supports them.

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