Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) is to host its annual Service of Remembrance online this year, ensuring it can still provide support and comfort to families, despite the Covid-19 restrictions.
The annual event, now in its eleventh year, is normally held each October and attended by around 300 people, including families who have recently experienced a pregnancy loss and people who may have experienced a bereavement many years ago.
This year, the event will instead take place at the Honan Chapel at University College Cork on October 15th and will be streamed online and broadcast on RTÉ television.
Daniel Nuzum, Chaplain at Cork University Hospital (CUH) and CUMH said a decision was made to host the event virtually this year because organisers felt that even though it wasn't possible to gather physically, it was important to continue to mark the event and support families.
Mr Nuzum said that pregnancy loss can still be a silent grieving and something we don't talk about and said it is important to give a voice to this.
He said organisers have endeavoured to create an event that people can engage with.
In recent weeks, bereaved families were invited to contribute messages to be included on a special Remembrance Tree, with members of the hospital’s pathology team inscribing the messages onto remembrance leaves to be placed on the tree.
During the service, he said, there will also be an opportunity for families to light a candle in memory of their baby.
Organisers are also inviting people to take a picture of their candle and put it on social media to join in a global wave of light on October 15th.
There will also be familiar elements from events from previous years at the virtual service, the CUMH chaplain said.
“While everyone’s experience is unique, there is a common shared experience of grief and hope,” Mr Nuzum explained.
“We hope that people will find it comforting and supportive and that somehow we’ll feel we are all connected together,” he said.
The event will be streamed on October 15th at www.cumhremembers.ie.
The Service of Remembrance will also be broadcast on RTÉ TV on Thursday, 15 October at 10.30am and Sunday, 18 October at 14:15pm on RTÉ News Now.