Memorial Gardens

9/11/2001

We can talk about it over and over again. See the pictures, hear the stories, and my heart never feels any differently than it did on this day eight years ago. So much has changed in our minds, in our country and around the world. The pain still hurts as much as it did then. We all have our ways of coping; some are healthy and some are not.

Plants are one of those healthy coping mechanisms. We give and receive them when we are in the hospital, when a child is born, and when a loved one passes away. Plants and flowers are really there throughout the entire cycle of our life, standing by when we need them. They are therapeutic, silent and need our care as much as we need them.

Garden of Solace, Chatham NJ.
Garden of Solace, Chatham NJ.

Memorial gardens not only provide healing, they also provide a sense of closure and peace. Planting the tree in the name of a lost loved one seems to somehow connect us to them. Their roots bury deep into the ground and the branches reach towards the heavens. They act as an ambassador to both earth and sky.

Medford Station Memorial Garden
Medford Station Memorial Garden

We all seem to have our personal tree that fits our personality and characteristics.  Much the same as an owner looks like their dog, I believe we look like our tree. Five years ago today my mother came out of cancer surgery groggy and tired. One of the first things she said to me was “Dogwood”. She was telling me her tree-but I already knew.

Many memorial gardens have been planted in the wake of 9/11. Some are well-known and talked about and have been dedicated with markers and plaques. Others, I’m sure,  have been as simple as a child planting petunias with his/her grandparents. Its the thought and love behind the work and care that can turn any space into a garden of memory.

British Memorial Garden New York
British Memorial Garden New York

So today as we are driving, lets be a little nicer. Lets say hello. Lets try to smile a little more. If only for today, when you are working in your garden and yard, dedicate the time you are spending there to those who we have lost- just by thinking of them.