Over 3,000 people joined an emotional Zoom memorial on Saturday for Maeve and Gideon Kennedy Townsend McKean, who tragically drowned in Maryland earlier this month.
The virtual memorial service included Kennedy family and friends who shared prayers, poems, songs, and a variety of readings.
The service also featured a special video tribute made by friends and family and a performance from rocker Melissa Etheridge and pop star Natasha Bedingfield, along with a touching rendition of Amazing Grace by country star Kenny Chesney.
Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, was the granddaughter of Robert F. Kennedy and grandniece of John F. Kennedy.
She drowned with her son Gideon, 8, when they got into difficulty in a kayak in the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland earlier in April. Their bodies were recovered at different stages last week.
The memorial service took place amid the COVID-19 pandemic and adhered to social distancing guidelines and it was a chance for friends and extended family to pay their respects to the deceased mother and son.
Maeve Kennedy Townsend's husband David paid a touching tribute to his wife and son and spoke about how he first met his future wife. He said that he had a crush on Maeve from the moment he laid eyes on her and spoke about old letters they used to write to one another, according to People Magazine.
“I had a crush on Maeve from the moment I met her. We said that we loved each other after dating for two weeks," he said.
"I’ve been going back through old letters and we were talking about growing old together before we’d ever even moved into our first apartment."
The bereaved husband and father also shared stories of his young son Gideon. He said Gideon was an "extraordinary child" who made "proud" all the time.
Mark Bailey, husband of Robert F. Kennedy's youngest daughter Rory Kennedy, said that it meant a great deal to the family to be able to celebrate their lives with so many well-wishers.
"While we’re not in the same space, we can’t hug or kiss, we’re not physically with each other, they’re still with us. And it means so much to us to have you here with us too.
“And so through this nutty Zoom call, we’re going to share and touch and visit and shine a light on this love for Maeve and Gideon that hold us all together,”