Monday, June 7, 2010

The Hospice Memorial Garden

Our local Hospice has a memorial garden, and every June offers a planting ceremony service to the community. Nearby garden centers each donate a flat or two of annuals, so the bereaved can plant a petunia in memory of a loved one. Some people bring their own perennials to plant. My neighbor, for instance, is taking daisies from my garden to plant in memory of her Aunt Daisy.

There's something primal about planting something in the earth to remember the dearly departed. Their bodies have either been planted in cemeteries or had their cremains sprinkled over earth or water.

At the Hospice garden, people can write on flat rocks, as big as the palm of their hand, the name of the loved one, and place this "tombstone" next to the plant. All the while, a dulcimer plays softly.

Now in the season when plants are practically leaping out of the ground, we take time to remember where we came from ourselves as well as those we've planted in the earth this past year.

Now in the season of birth and blooming, we recall those who have already returned to the great recycling machine of Earth.

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