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Memorial Gardens

I was 62 years, 10 months and 5 days old ( It was Monday, May 5th 2024 to be exact) when I found out there exists a day set aside to honor bereaved mothers. Apparently, the first Sunday in May is considered the International Day of the Bereaved Mother.

Who knew?

What a beautiful tribute to a group that few people want to talk to. What do you say when a mother has lost a child to street violence, miscarriage, stillbirth, cancer, suicide. Abortion?

This day will allow for forbidden, disenfranchised and buried grief to be seen and heard. The title removes any and all pretense as to what is being honored and given space for. A mom whose grief seems unbearable will feel seen, heard and understood because the world took a moment to acknowledge them.

We here at Arise Daughter and Arise Artists often discuss this topic as you might imagine. It is what we were called to do in fact. We sit in those tough spaces with moms and grieve with them. We know all too well what it felt like to have our voices and screams silenced (often times by ourselves). We can commiserate like few others can. And while the circumstances may be different for each child's death, we all understand that, at the end of the day, your child is gone.

What we have decided to champion is the development of personal Memorial Gardens dedicated to children who have been lost by any means. We are cultivating a community of women who would like to have a personal space of contemplation, prayer and reflection. Our goal is to have homes and municipalities, churches and civic areas set aside spaces where butterflies and other pollinators can roam freely and where parents can simply sit, enjoy the beauty and reflect upon their loss.

We want to give permission to parents to openly grieve their lost children.

If you feel inspired to participate, I humbly invite you to join in this movement in any small or large way you can. It may be simply planting a container garden on your porch or windowsill or it could be partnering with your church to set aside a bit of yard space for a planting and a plaque. We would love to collaborate with you on this project as many of us are actually planting our very first personal memorial gardens.

Go to our main webpage: for inspiration and to check in on our progress. Post your photos on our social pages (and on your own) and tag us @arisedaughterfl. Hashtag #memorialgarden Feel free to email us at and we will freely share what we know and cheer you on! If you are interested in being a part of a registry, let us know!

Many blessings, Sylvia

Song: "I Come To The Garden Alone" by Mahalia Jackson

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