Welcome to The Healing Garden: A Child’s Place for Remembering
Children involved in a gardening experience have many opportunities to engage with and witness the garden’s therapeutic rhythms. Through a hands-on gardening experience children develop a sense of the interconnectedness of life and their place in it. They begin to appreciate the cycles of life that sustain them every day.
Not all children live in a perfect protected world that we might imagine for them. It is our hope that “The Healing Garden” — a child’s virtual garden — will draw on healing memories that help mend a child’s heart along the grief journey.
Children entering The Healing Garden are invited to plant seeds that represent values, feelings, or concepts that they associate with a loved one who has died. These seeds can be planted in the virtual garden and will sprout to become a blooming flower. With each bloom there will appear a corresponding loss lesson that encourages the child to use a gift left by the loved one and share it with others in their day-to-day world.
The loss lesson that accompanies each seed packet may help you guide the child toward understanding the healing nature of the grief journey. Memories of our loved ones who have died can become a lasting legacy to help us grow and mature.
The child may also add decorations to their garden. The completed garden — dedicated to their loved one — may be printed out in color or emailed. You may also elect to screen capture the completed garden scene and email it to a friend or relative.
We hope that The Healing Garden is helpful for a child you love. We appreciate any comments you would like to share.
Help for the Hard Times
A child may have had a complicated relationship with the loved one who has died – or the nature of the death may be complicated or stigmatized. This can lead to difficult feelings such as guilt, relief, fear, confusion, and anger. These very natural emotions may leave the child feeling uncomfortable.
When a child comes to the Healing Garden there is no need to hide any feelings. The tenth, unspecified category of seed packets may be used for feelings like these. The child may be guided to understand that certain wildflowers as well as healing herbs have their place in the untilled spaces of the garden.
These are often the plants that might be mistaken for weeds among the more domestic flowers. They often become prized perennial plants. In time, wildflowers and healing herbs reveal their own special beauty and potential for healing.
More About Child Loss
LifeNet Health Health’s philosophy of bereavement care closely mirrors the teachings of noted grief author and educator, Dr. Alan Wolfelt. To read several of his articles on the subject, we encourage you to visit Griefwords. You may also consider our bibliography section.
No personally identifying information is collected through the use of The Healing Garden. The technology used allows children to view, create, and play in The Healing Garden, all on your own personal computer, smart phone or pad. You, and your companion child, determine if you wish to save the image through printing or screen saving. In this way, you alone control the release of this very special work of the child you are helping.
If your child has created a garden, or if you have, we hope you will share your thoughts and reactions with us. We value your input and use it to help others.
Click here to begin creating a garden now.