People who have lost loved ones this year invited to write messages for the Book of Remembrance
People who have lost loved ones have been invited to write a handwritten message that will be included in the 2018 Book of Remembrance, the Irish Hospice Foundation (IHF) has said.
The messages are part of the charity's Never Forgotten Appeal and the book will be displayed in the IHF library throughout 2018, which is open to the public.
Lynda and Pat Foley honoured their son Liam as they opened up about how Christmas can be a particularly painful time for them and other people who have lost a loved one.
Lynda, who is from Cratloe in Co Clare, has spoken candidly about how much Liam (6) loved the festive season, before he tragically died from an illness in 2013.
She explained: "We had two and a half good years with Liam but unfortunately everything changed for the worse towards the end of 2012.
"Liam’s body was beginning to fail him. We got home and set about celebrating Christmas. Sadly it was to be our last one together.
"Liam always had the job of turning on the Christmas lights.
"He enjoyed watching the tree being decorated and couldn’t wait to be wheeled in and out with his decorations. He even liked to be decorated himself! But the lights were always his favourite."
The Foley family has written a message to honour Liam as part of The Irish Hospice Foundation's (IHF) never Forgotten Appeal.
They said: "Liam brought a love to our lives that we could never have imagined. His death has given us a grief beyond belief.
"Our journey does not end here, it merely changes direction."
29,000 people die in Ireland every year and ten people are directly affected, the IHF said that Christmas can be a particularly difficult time for those left behind.
IHF CEO Sharon Foley said: "Grief is difficult all year round but special occasions like Christmas can be particularly hard for those who are bereaved.
"Let’s cherish the memories of our loved ones who are deceased by making this a Christmas to remember.
"Our Never Forgotten Appeal is one way in which you can honour a loved one who has passed away.
"You can make a real difference to others at end of life or those left bereaved by supporting the appeal. All donations go towards the work of the IHF and providing better care for those who are at end of life or bereaved."
The IHF's work includes helping people with illnesses other than cancer to die in their own homes by providing nurses for night care and supporting parents and guardians who care for grieving children and young people through the Irish Childhood Bereavement Network.
- For more information or to make a donation in memory of someone you love please visit here