St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital would like to honor the children who died between March 31, 2015 and April 30, 2020 by inviting their immediate families to join us for a unique Day of Remembrance Virtual Event, November 6-7, 2020.
Twenty-one years ago, the Day of Remembrance event was created by a task force of St. Jude bereaved parents just like you. They wanted to ensure that other families had the opportunity to honor the memories of their children in a meaningful way.
The Day of Remembrance weekend event has always been held in-person on the St. Jude campus. However, because of local and world-wide travel restrictions, recommended CDC guidelines, and for the health and safety of the children who are currently going through treatment during this global Covid-19 pandemic, we are unable to host an in-person event this year. Even though we cannot be together physically this year, it is our hope that we might find a new way of connecting by heart and by spirit to remember the lives of your dear children.
We look forward to virtually connecting with you in November.
Virtual Day of Remembrance Agenda
Friday, November 6
For Friday, we will post the following pre-recorded events that you will be able to access and watch at your convenience. We encourage all families to view these videos.
Family Panel Discussion
Panelists representing St. Jude families will explore topics of grief and bereavement. Send questions or topics you would like the panelists to address to firstname.lastname@example.org by September 15, 2020.
Memory-making activity with Child Life
Join child life specialists as they lead a meaningful memory-making activity for the entire family. Families that register for Day of Remembrance by October 2, 2020 will receive a memory-making kit in the mail.* Watch our child life specialists explain and demonstrate the activity. You can either do the activity along with them or save it for later.
*We are sorry memory-making kits can not be mailed internationally due to the pandemic. The exceptions are Mexico, Canada and Puerto Rico. We hope the materials needed for the activity are easy to find in your hometown.
Celebration of Remembrance
A time to honor our children, to remember the many ways they touched our lives, and to express gratitude for the impact they continue to make.
Saturday, November 7
On Saturday, we will hold live group discussions. We will also have a discussion on challenges bereaved parents experience – Let's Talk About Grief – and we encourage all parents to attend. We will then have small topic-focused group discussions for parents, siblings, and grandparents.
You will be able to sign up for the group(s) of your choice during registration. The registration deadline is Friday, October 2. Once we have the number of attendees for each group, the schedule will be finalized. We will then send you an email by October 15 with your specific group times(s) and how to join the discussion.
Let's Talk About Grief
Parents often feel alone and isolated after the loss of a child. If you’ve wondered how others handle the challenges you face or you want to talk to others who understand what you are going through, join in our small-group parent discussions. Meet and interact with other bereaved parents who understand your grief. Ask questions, share common experiences or just come and listen.
Moms Talking About Grief
Our role as a mother and the planning and dreaming for our child’s life began when we first learned we were pregnant. What do we do with those plans and dreams now? Let’s discuss some of the challenges we face as bereaved mothers, and how to cope with them.
Dads Talking About Grief
Dads are often seen as the strong and silent types who hide their emotions. However, grief is a lifelong journey that can be very lonely if it is taken alone. Join this group of dads and see you are not alone. Sharing is optional.
Honoring and Remembering Your Child
There are plenty of beautiful ways to honor and remember our children and their impacts. Let’s share with one another ways we are honoring our children’s memories and building their legacies.
Parents Experiencing the Loss of Their Only Child
Parents who lose their only child often feel as if they’ve lost their future, even their purpose. Join to listen, share and understand with others who also lost their first and only children.
Spirituality and Grief
Most of us have had many thoughts and questions going through our minds since our child’s death, such as “Why?”, “Does God even care?” or “I can’t feel God’s presence.” These questions may have challenged our spiritual beliefs, even things we have believed for a long time. It is okay to ask these questions. Join a chaplain and other parents to explore this topic and to see that you are certainly not alone.
Growing Through Loss: Finding New Meaning and Purpose in Life
Rediscovering ourselves and finding renewed purpose for our lives can be challenging after the loss of a child. Let’s discuss the growth we’ve experienced, how to find meaning for our lives, and how we can grow stronger and more resilient.
Importance of Self-care
You may be trying to figure out why or how to better care for yourself while grieving, or you may have already taken some positive steps. Join this group of parents who will talk about grief and the “whys” and “how-to” of self-care.
Single Parents and Grief
Let’s talk about the unique challenges of grieving without a partner by your side.
Parenting Grieving Children While Grieving Yourself
Parenting is a full-time job – so is grief. How can you do both?
Preteen Sibling Group (ages 10-12)
Give your preteen a chance to meet other preteens attending the virtual Day of Remembrance weekend through fun get-to-know-you games with our St. Jude child life specialists!
Teen Sibling Group (ages 13-18)
Give your teen a chance to meet other teens attending the Day of Remembrance weekend through fun get-to-know-you games with our St. Jude child life specialists!
Adult Sibling Connection (ages 18+)
Meet other adult siblings who understand. Listen or share in a discussion of topics related to sibling grief.
Grandparent to Grandparent
The grief experienced when a grandchild dies involves many roles and relationships. Grandparents grieve for their grandchild, their child, and any other grandchildren who have lost a sibling or cousin. This is a heavy load of grief to bear. Let’s discuss as grandparents how to deal with our grief, support our children and grandchildren, and take care of ourselves.