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Memory day: A day to remember

July 8, 2023

Last week we held the first of two Memory Days, with one held at each of our hospices, Shooting Star House and Christopher’s every year. Our Memory Day’s are for families whose child has died, inviting them to our hospices to celebrate, remember and talk about their child.

Upon their arrival, families were handed a beautiful bright canvas bag with some items to help them through their day. The bag included a worry doll, tissues, wild flower seeds, a little star key chain, a herbal tea bag (for when they got home), order of service, bubbles and a personalised candle to light during the service. The atmosphere was set as the dining room was filled with piano music, and families were free to wonder around Shooting Star House, engaging with the many things we had organised for them to make the day as special as possible.

This year an engraver joined for the day, giving families the chance to watch their star being engraved with their child’s name, before hanging it on our memory tree. At both hospices we have memory gardens which have specially designed trees, where families can hang their engraved star (or leaf at Christopher’s). This quiet and peaceful space is somewhere families can come and visit. The tree’s are permanent and provide a special way for families and staff to remember the supported child.

The care team also create memory books, which are carefully put together with the detailed work of a volunteer artist who spent hours making each page reflect the child they were remembering. In addition, there was an opportunity to make a memory jar, using fine salt and rainbow chalks – a therapeutic process that makes for a lovely keepsake for the day.

Finally, there was a service which included some beautiful readings, stories, music and a specially put together video of the bereaved children. Bereaved siblings where able to play freely in the gardens and chat together, before lunch was served and the families and staff ate together sharing stories. Thank you to everyone who was involved in making the day so special for families and the staff to remember.

If you would like to volunteer your skills or time to support your local hospice, then volunteer today. Alternatively you could donate, so that we can continue to support families and children in every way we can.