Our New Memorial Garden

I LOVE THIS SPACE. I love it. And after nearly 8 years of looking at it with anxiety and avoidance, that’s saying a lot. This area used to be a void. Undeveloped and barren. Not helpful to the unique serenity of the chapel and labyrinth and the beauty of our campus. But it had potential, right?

From our early days in that first apartment, Clarehouse has been sacred space, infused with the memories of countless souls who have passed through our doors. This home holds a unique place in the hearts of the family and friends of those who have died here. They return to visit staff and volunteers, share a meal, make a donation, walk the gardens or step into the bedroom where their loved one died and remember.

They keep a living connection with us because in the ritual of coming back, they honor loved ones with a concrete act. Clarehouse becomes a touchstone for reconnecting with the ones lost.

Our vision for this garden was to create an intentional touchstone for these acts of remembering. This wall was created, not as a barrier, but as a connection. A literal touch  stone as a place to leave letters, notes, prayers, trinkets and mementos. A hands-on receptacle of our grief and healing.

We’ve long understood that a burden shared is a burden eased. We are honored to share the burden of caregiving every day; giving dying individuals and families the opportunity to simply be family again, cherishing every last moment together.

Now, this space gives us expanded opportunity to share our families’ burdens of grief, with common space meant for remembering, or crying, or praying, or laughing; all the while, finding hope.