For every flower that opens in your garden, another wound is healed in your heart.
The goal of our memorial garden is to provide a place of peace and serenity, a place where the beauty and the scent of flowers penetrate the senses, allowing memories to come forth, feelings to be felt, and a healing to take place. We hope that you'll find our memorial garden to be a living, vibrant place in honor and memory of all our children, grandchildren and siblings.
Our garden is located at the South Lawn of
The Manning House
Brookside Congregational Church
2013 Elm Street
Stop by and visit it anytime.
A Bit of History
In early 2004, The Steering Committee for our chapter of The Compassionate Friends sat together and discussed what would be a positive project for our group, and maybe more importantly, how could we give back to the Brookside Congregational Church for letting us use The Manning House for our monthly meetings and our Candlelighting Service. After some discussion the decision to create a Children's Memorial Garden was made.
Upon presenting the idea to the Trustees of the church, the steering committee worked with the trustees to locate an appropriate place for our garden. It was decided that we would use the space where a cement goldfish pond had been located. Here we had a lot of work ahead of us!
The project work done by all was energized by the love for our children. So many people helped build the garden. We had a brother of one of our parents come with his backhoe to scoop out all the muck in the pond. He worked for hours in the rain getting every bit of dirt out. Other wonderful folks donated materials and time to build a bench, to bring in loam and mulch, to erect an arbor, to lay a brick walkway inside the garden. We also had a garden center donate all the perennials. All the plants were placed lovingly into the garden that summer and some could not help but think how pleased Mrs. Manning would have been to know that her home and grounds were being used by other parents who have suffered the loss of a child or children. (For more information on Mrs. Manning and the Manning House, please read Historical Information.)
The fall of that year we held a garden dedication with a butterfly release; this was the first of our now annually held Children's Memorial Garden Butterfly Social.
So many people are drawn to this garden, and it is doing just what we wanted it to do - it is giving people a sense of peace and hope.