HCA Hospice held our first ever Sunflower Remembrance Day concert on Saturday, Nov 24th. More than a hundred family members and caregivers rallied together to attend the event.
I am really proud of the team and all who worked in the background to make this event so meaningful. This remembrance concert was only made possible through the relentless spirit of the entire HCA team, the wonderful volunteerism of our friends for the vividly coloured bottled memories and self-made sunflowers, the generous sponsorship of KWSH for the use of their venue, our other sponsors for the beautiful sunflowers and the active participation of all our families.
Fifty-six families had signed up for this inaugural concert. Before the start of the event, families came together to create “Memories in a Bottle” using a recycled bottle filled with eco-friendly LED lights tucked together with personally written notes to their loved ones. Others made sunflowers out of ribbons and buttons.
Our staff member put up an item with his teacher – playing “Somewhere over the rainbow” with their violins. He had only started learning the violin seven months ago, to be able to play for our families.
A very talented volunteer then did a modern contemporary dance, specially choreographed in memory of her aunt.
This was followed by a sharing of a grandson about his grandpa – how “gong gong” (grandpa in dialect) deteriorated from an active ‘jack of all trades’ to a slightly demented man suffering from colon cancer, how mum took care of him and the respite given to her when “gong gong” spent his happy times at HCA’s day hospice centre.
A group of singing housewives, the Equavers then sang a beautiful song “Remember Me”. It moved the audience as I could see people dabbing their eyes with tissues.
The “Lights of Remembrance” was a most poignant moment. With the Equavers humming serenely in the background, each family was individually invited to light a tea-light when their beloved family member was called, with a beautiful photo of their loved one highlighted on a large screen as the backdrop. Each family was presented with a beautifully handmade sunflower bouquet. The most tearful moment must have been when an aged mother had to go up to light a tea-light for her son.
After a minute of silence, our nurse read a letter from a caregiver, who shared that it had not been easy after losing her husband. She thanked HCA home team for looking after him so well, acknowledging the difficult work that we do. More importantly, for helping her after her bereavement.
To round off the concert, our very own HCA choir, the HCApellas, comprised of individuals from HCA’s clinical and non-clinical teams, sang “See you Again”. It capped off what I must say, a most heart-warming and tender event for our bereaved families.
We thank all of our families for the privilege of having cared for their beloved ones.
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