Hello, my name is Peter O’Brien and I am the Chaplaincy Support Coordinator at St. Ann’s Hospice. I would like to share my thoughts with you about the importance of remembering a loved one who is no longer with us, especially during these difficult and unpredictable days.
It’s no accident that the forget-me-not flower is St Ann’s symbol; it’s associated with the qualities of steadfastness, faithfulness, loyalty and love. Perhaps, like never before have we seen these qualities being displayed by so many people during this pandemic: steadfastness, loyalty, faithfulness and love.
However, I’m also keenly aware that coupled with these qualities, we personally have experienced feelings of sadness, regret, anger, uncertainty, confusion and others as we try to adjust to life without the one we want to remember. This has been made more difficult because of the current restrictions on social distancing and even harder for some of us, by the fact that leading up to the death of those close to us, we could not visit them in the ways we wanted; couldn’t touch, kiss and embrace our loved one; and were not permitted to say a proper farewell at the funeral service.
My hope is that through the Forget-me-not appeal and during the coming days, although we may not necessarily make sense of suffering, we can make space for our sorrow and make room for those mysteries in life, which cannot be explained, captured or defined. What might help us to do this is perhaps write a message about the person we wish to recall, or draw a picture, reflect on a photograph. I know from personal experience, that when someone dies, we don’t get over our grief by forgetting, we get through our grief by remembering; for I believe a person lives for as long as we carry them inside us.
Finally, although we naturally mourn the loss of those no longer with us, as the forget-me-not flower reminds us, we are thankful for their steadfastness, loyalty, faithfulness and love. Thank you so much for supporting the hospice through this appeal and I trust that the days ahead will eventually be brighter and more manageable.
Thank you so much for supporting the hospice through this appeal and I trust that the days ahead will eventually be brighter and more manageable.