Sunday, ten volunteers, staff members and bereaved families gathered for a Day of Remembrance. On this special day, we came together to honor and memorialize the children who have died. Heavy hearts and tears accompanied the stories and remembrance as families shared the wonder and joy that was their child. Brothers and sisters talked about what it was like having a sick child in the home, and what it’s like now to painfully miss them every day. Parents, grandparents, great grandparents, and extended family talked about the longing for one more smile, one more kiss from their precious child.
Candles were lit and names were spoken in whispered tones, expressions of lost love that can never be replaced. For the first time, we were also able to incorporate a balloon release into the service. Before releasing their balloons, family members attached a love note to their balloons, addressed to their child. Watching these multi-colored balloons drift skyward was an incredibly powerful and moving experience. Some families said prayers, some children spoke opening to their brother or sister who had died, and many, many tears were shed.
This year was especially significant in that we were joined by Joan and Allen Hogge. Many of you know them as one of the founding families of Edmarc. These children and their families could never truly be prepared for the loss they experienced. However, they can learn to deal
with their grief – and learn to love life again. The Day of Remembrance provided a gift of hope and healing to survive their tragedy.
We want to extend a special thank you to the Chisholm House Fund a component of the Southeast Virginia Community Foundation for their grace and generosity in underwriting the cost of the event; volunteers from Western Branch Community Church and students from EVEM’s Physician Assistant program who provided the foundation of helping hands; Bob Harper for capturing the heartfelt moments.
This year’s 2012 Day of Remembrance will be cherished for a life time!