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Sense Memorial

 Please register in advance through this link.

The Sense Memorial Project is a community space. 

We’d love to hear your stories!



Fill out the form below to share a sense memory.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to iris paradela-hunter, Koru’s Community Engagement Coordinator and the organizer of this project. You can email her at [email protected] or directly at [email protected].


Our relationship with someone doesn’t end when they die.

What often helps to sustain us in our grief is the intentional creation of stories that include and “re-member” the dead in our present. 

Consider the following: 

You heard young children singing “Pop goes the weasel” at a preschool near your apartment. You paused and listened. It brought back a memory of an aunt. She used to sing that song to you as a boy. 

You hadn’t met your university professor before. But he seems familiar. You instantly felt comfortable with him. You paused and wrinkled your nose. You recognize the aftershave he uses. Old Spice! It brings back memories of your doting grandfather, who used Old Spice soap. You remember how free and happy you were when your grandpa took you camping, fishing and hiking. 

The taste of homebaked apple pie always evokes in you warm memories of your mom. She used to make it every chance she got. When your mom was diagnosed with cancer, you used to bake apple pies for her. Sadly, she lost her appetite for most food towards the end of her life. Lately, you have baked apple pie in your mom’s memory and as a way for your children to connect with their gramma.

A tree stump in the forest made you think of your late husband. As a woodworking hobbyist, he loved smoothing rough-hewn wood, whistling as he worked. 

You found yourself avoiding dog parks in your neighbourhood soon after your beloved pooch died. A year later, you purposely visited dog parks as a way of remembering your canine friend. 

You likely have cooked a dish, sang a song, visited a significant place, or planted a flower with deep intention to remember a loved one. Or perhaps as a way to move through the pain you experienced with a family member or friend. 

We all have stories of how something we saw, heard, touched, tasted or smelled reconnected us with a loved one who has died – for better or worse. 

The mere act of remembering the departed through our senses becomes a memorial. 

Do you want to contribute a story, but you’re not sure where to start? 
Below are some suggestions to get you started. 

Option 1: 

  • Close your eyes or keep them open if you prefer. Take a few calming breaths. 
  • Recall a time when you felt strongly connected with a departed person. You can focus on one person at a time. 
  • What made you think of that person? Or feel his/her/their presence? 
  • Was your memory of that person sparked because of something you experienced? Something you saw, heard, felt, tasted or smelled? 

Option 2:

  • Close your eyes or keep them open if you prefer. Take a few calming breaths. 
  • Recall a time when you sought out to remember the deceased with intention. 
  • Was there a specific occasion when you did that? A death anniversary, birthday, a special holiday? 
  • What was the activity you planned to do? How did you feel while you were in that moment? 
  • What did you experience? What did you see, hear, feel, taste or smell? 


Left to right: iris, Ngaio and Emily

Hosted by your KORU Team, Sense Memorial: Culminating Event is part of the Swan Song Festival in partnership with Community Deathcare Canada. 

Photo Credits (in order of appearance on this page): Annie Spratt, Priscilla Du Preez, Magdalena Smolnicka from

The KORU Team photo credit: Jessica Jacobson Photography.

#SwanSongFestival #SwanSongFestival2021 #CommunityDeathcareCanada #Remembering

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