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Star PALS Remembrance Day – “Always Loved, Never Forgotten”
17 August 2015

Losing a child does not mean you stop being a parent, and a proud one at that. This maternal and paternal pride was evident in the faces of bereaved parents who attended the Star PALS Remembrance Evening on 15 August as they chatted animatedly and showed each other photographs of their children on their mobile phones. Their rich reminisces brought tears, laughter and spontaneous hugs among old friends and strangers alike.

The Star PALS Remembrance Evening is a simple and personal event that is held every year for parents, siblings, family and caregivers of young Star PALS patients who have passed away. Filled with meaningful songs, reflective activities and inspirational sharing, the event brings families together in a heartfelt celebration of love and a candid acknowledgement of grief.

Amidst cosy tealights and cuddly toys decorating the room, families listened to a moving opening address by the President of HCA Hospice Care, Dr. Tan Poh Kiang. Parents Kelvin and Shu Hui shared the intimate details of their journey with their beloved daughter Kaelyn, emphasizing the beauty of her life instead of the length of it, and the lessons they had learned from her.

Families then filled up a Memory Jar with coloured sand, handwritten notes to their child, whimsical feathers and flower petals while they chatted with staff and other families at their tables

The most poignant part of the evening saw families and staff rising for the Moment of Remembrance, where names of all Star PALS patients who had passed away were rolled on the screen to a stirring song. Fond smiles formed on tear-stained faces as families watched their children’s name appear. Trembling hands found steady ones to hold on to in silence. This touching moment was completed with the reading of a poem specially written for the event, “Precious Little Love”, by medical student and volunteer, Pravin.

As the evening came to a close, a sense of peace and camaraderie gently enveloped the room. Families left with warm embraces and well wishes, knowing that they would always be connected in a shared bond of love, grief and hope. And if their children could see them that evening, they, too, would know that they are always loved, and never forgotten.