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Memories, Love and Hope
26 December 2018

Illuminated by love, hope and support, the HCA Sunflower Remembrance Day Concert 2018 was a safe space in which bereaved families celebrated the memories of their loved ones.

By Toh Wei Shi, HCA Community Relations

Author Terri Guillemets once said, “Those we love and lose are always connected by heartstrings into infinity.”

Love and loss are intimately connected – we perceive the gravity of loss because of the existence of love. The recent HCA Sunflower Remembrance Day Concert 2018 provided a safe space for bereaved families to honour the memories of their loved ones and express their emotions. 

HCA CEO Ms Angeline Wee gave an opening address.

It is the first time the biannual memorial event has taken the form of a concert, combining dance, choir and violin performances with sharing sessions conducted by HCA staff and caregivers.

The HCAppellas – HCA’s informal staff choir – and their moving rendition of “See You Again”.

A Musical Element

Music, like love, is a universal language that transcends all ages, races and languages. HCA staff and volunteers presented a medley of moving performances, which were evocative yet sensitive in execution.

HCA volunteer group Equaver presented the song “Remember Me”.

Volunteer Stephanie Loh interpreted the notion of home through her dance.

HCA staff Yeo Zhi Zheng and volunteer Juliette de Souza performed “Somewhere over the Rainbow”.

Giving Voice to Memories

For bereaved family members and friends, being able to share their thoughts and emotions can be cathartic. Within a group setting, such sharing also enables them to seek solace and solidarity from others who have experienced similar losses. In the caregiver sharing session by Zaz Quek, the grandson of late HCA patient Quek Hai Yong, spoke fondly of his grandfather, describing him as “strong-willed, intelligent and caring”.

Zaz, whose late grandfather was HCA’s patient, shared about his family’s experience with loss.

On coming to terms with his grandfather’s passing, Zaz added, “It’s been more than half a year now since Gong Gong passed on. We knew all of us did our best to make his final lap in his life with him and that’s why we have no regrets.”

Each family was also given a clear glass bottle with coiled fairy lights in it, and a small card to pen down the things they wanted to tell their loved one. Having put their thoughts into words, they then rolled up the card and placed it into the bottle, symbolically illuminating their love and longing. 

Each family brought home a bottle with fairy lights and a personal note they wrote to their late loved one.

It is our collective hope that the bereaved families were able to derive some comfort from the memorial event and the process of journeying together as a community.