Death is very unpredictable and often tragic, especially in the case of children and the unborn. Childhood deaths bring a different type of emotion and pain when you realize they will not live to do the things they enjoy. Creating memorials is not only a way to honour those children, but it is also an avenue for strength and healing. Nyssa Bell, a resident of Streaky Bay, wants to do just that.
An Idea For A Healing Memorial
In 2016, Nyssa gave birth to a stillborn daughter, Lucy, at 36 weeks. This tragic event prompted her to not only want to honour her daughter but thousands of other children as well. She believes the memories of all children should be honoured in some way.
As she was talking through the grieving process with her midwife, Lucy was inspired to create a quiet, calm place of remembrance. Her midwife mentioned a place in New Zealand that was created to memorialize those who died at birth or in the womb. The citizens of this town formed a “memorial forest” to facilitate healing and remembrance.
Upon reflecting on her own painful experience, Nyssa desired to have a place where families could also heal. Whether they have lost a small child, or a child in the womb, she wanted families to find solace in an inviting atmosphere. This atmosphere needed to be quiet and smaller than a cemetery.
Proposing The Memorial Garden
Lucy wrote out an extensive report and submitted it to the district council of Streaky Bay. The report contained a proposal for a memorial garden, with a suggestion of four locations. Upon deliberation, the council granted her request in November 2017. They loved the idea and agreed to discuss the details of location, designs, and maintenance.
The Garden Holds Hope
Although details are still in progress, the idea of the garden holds hope for Nyssa Bell and others who have lost children. Bell is hopeful and patient and desires the community to have necessary input. This garden will certainly serve as a comforting haven, honouring these short lives.