Dealing with the loss of a loved one is a challenge that nearly everyone will experience during his or her lifetime. While the only way to heal from a loss is with time, creating a memorial garden in honor of your loved one is an inspirational way to pay tribute to their life while giving you a quiet place to remember your loved one.
What is a memorial garden?
The beauty of memorial gardens is that there are no rules when it comes to creating this special place. What makes it significant is what it symbolizes and how it makes you feel when you visit it. It can be as small as a single tree in your yard or even a long pathway of flowers leading to a pond. Like any garden, it may depend on what kind of space you have. However, don't be detered if you have a small space like an apartment because you can still plant and grow beautiful and meaningful things in a space like a balcony or even indoors by a window.
How can making a memorial garden help?
According to helpguide.org, one of the most important things to keep in mind when healing from a loss is to resist the urge to suppress your feelings and to let yourself ride the waves of grief as they come and go. Since this is a painful task, creating a memorial garden will give you a peaceful place to retreat to when working through these waves of emotion. Even the very act of building and maintaining your garden will help keep the mind focused on something beautiful and symbolic while you deal with your grief in a constructive way. Once your garden is complete, you will always have a quiet place to visit, reflect and remember.
Here are some tips for creating your own memorial garden:
1) If Possible, Make It Private
Because your memorial garden will be a peaceful place for you to retreat to, you'll want to choose an area that's quiet and private. Since the garden will be in the comfort of your home and backyard, you'll feel good knowing that you have a private place to visit instead of having to travel to a gravestone whenever you want to feel close to your loved one.
2) Incorporate Water
The sound of trinkling water is naturally relaxing so including a pond or a fountain in your memorial garden will make the space even more tranquil. The water will also attract a variety of birds which will bring a bit of life and beauty to the garden. Because the area will be a place that you'll visit when you want to reflect upon your love one in peace, making this space as uplifting as possible will help you feel more comfortable.
3) Choose An Area That Gets Some Sunlight
Since you'll be growing some kind of plant or flower in your memorial garden, you'll want to choose a place with a good amount of sunlight so it doesn't limit what you can plant. Your garden should be a place that makes you feel content while you remember your loved ones so feeling the warmth of sunshine will radiate some positivity into the area.
4. Let There Be Light
Include outdoor lighting such a solar lights, candles or lanterns so you can visit any time of day. Because grief comes in unpredictable waves, you'll want to make sure that you can safely venture over to your memorial garden during the evening so incorporarting a good source of lighting will help with that.
5) Incorporate Pieces Of What They Loved
Is there a special flower or plant they loved? Whether they loved music, fishing or crafting, there are so many creative ways to incorporate little pieces of who they were into the memorial garden. Not only will this make the garden more beautiful, but it will mean more to you because you'll feel close to them while you're among things that they loved.
6) Include Seating
Found on custommade.com
During your visits, you or other visitors of the garden may want to spend an extended amount of time there so having a comfortable place to sit will help the visit feel more pleasant. If you want to make that extra special, engraving a wood bench is a great way to make your memorial garden more personalized. When placed among blooming flowers or a tall tree, you'll always find comfort in this peaceful retreat.
7) Make It Symbolic
Consider adding symbolic details into the garden. For example, angels symbolize peace and the heavenly spirit so adding an ornament is a beautiful way to make the space more peaceful. Or if you'd rather add a different kind of life to the garden, you can include a birdfeeder to attract birds like doves which symbolize love, grace and peace.
8) Add An Engraved Rock
Found on plowhearth.com
Since the hard, durable surface of a rock will last for an incredibly long period of time, you can feel good knowing that you'll be able to visit this area of your memorial garden for years to come. This detail is ideal for people who live in areas that experience cold, snowy winters so while your gardens may be covered, you can simply brush off the snow whenever you want to see your loved ones name or a special quote engraved into the rock.
9) Small Space? Use A Windchime
Found on etsy.com
If you love the idea of creating a memorial garden but don't have a big amount of space to dedicate to a variety of flowers, plants or larger additions such as the wood bench, a wind chime is another beautiful idea. With every gust of wind that makes your memorial wind chime ring, you'll think of this special person.
10) Plant Wildflowers & Forget-Me-Nots
Beautiful and bright, wildflowers and forget-me-nots are the perfect florals for memorial gardens. From the moment you plant them, they will symbolize the love and light you felt for the person who has passed. In addition, these flowers attract butterflies which are not only beautiful, but they're symbolic of hope, growth and transendence. If you like the idea of growing these colorful blooms, consider planting seed paper memorial favors. Created with eco-friendly materials, these products can be planted in a pot or garden to commemerate the life of a loved one who has passed. Since the act of planting the paper and growing flowers takes time, they symbolize the healing process and how although grief is a journey, the other side will be beautiful and strong.
Looking for more memorial ideas? We think you’ll enjoy these helpful posts:
Remembering Loved Ones - Quotes & Poems For Seed Paper Memorial Favors
How Planting Wildflowers Can Help With Healing After The Loss Of A Loved One