This week’s video sheds light on Angels Rest, a uniquely timeless memorial garden for Residents to visit loved ones who are no longer with us.
Creators Fae and Mr. N greet visitors warmly with their group’s message: “Angels Rest is a memorial garden offering space for you to create a focal point for remembrance. The aim is to offer a chance for quiet contemplation and reflection away from daily distractions.” The environment invites one to be vulnerable among the serenity of nature, with an occasional wild animal hopping about to remind you that you’re not alone.
Assembling a sacred virtual space that is accessible 24/7, rain or shine, was an enormously thoughtful endeavor. It is hard enough losing a loved one, and during the added strain of coronavirus tumult, many survivors were not able to honor traditional funeral practices for safety reasons. Fae says, “I have lost people in my life who I wanted a way of memorialising. It seemed to me that there was such a huge need for this, especially this year with the COVID pandemic. I met a couple who had a similar kind of garden but they were not able to maintain it, and it had to close, so I decided I wanted to fill the gap that had been left behind.”
Fae, elaborating further on her vision for Angels Rest, says, “I have seen and felt firsthand the effects that social isolation has had on both myself and my nearest and dearest… We wanted to create a place that people can spend time and have peace and reflection in the virtual ways that we are able to right now. It was very important to us that we be able to provide this free of charge as so many are struggling right now, and so we came up with the idea of the refunded rental.”
The rental options include candles and plots that can be decorated with pictures, messages, flowers, or other meaningful mementos. Many people commemorate their pets as well, as is visible from the glass display case showing a four-legged friend in a perfect slumber. The space makes its inclusive atmosphere clear with its centerpiece, the Ecunemical Chapel bearing objects that represent all major world relations.
For visitors who are struggling with grief, a notecard offers important information such as phone numbers and email addresses of both Bereavement and Mental Health Services. We hope that all those who visit Angels Rest are provided with joyful reminders of loved ones and the strength to carry on.
Note: The poem featured in the video is “Death is Nothing at All” by Henry Scott-Holland.
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