We visited The National Memorial Arboretum today in Staffordshire as they have a SANDS memorial garden. Ever since we read about it on the SANDS website we knew we would go – it had been on the list for a while, but we had more reason to visit now.
It was really nice. A gorgeous day. To have somewhere dedicated to go and remember Leo and all the other loved little ones is comforting. Especially if we end up living north in the future, it’s good to know there is somewhere a bit easier to visit, if we need to.
It’s a manmade forest, complete with little woods. There is a Children’s Wood with trees personally dedicated in remembrance of children, with a playground in the middle. What struck me is seeing the things left for children and the plaques, it makes you realise just how big this club is.
We will be going back in summer for the annual service hosted by SANDS and again in the future many times – it’s nice to have somewhere so big to walk around and to be able to spend a whole day just about Leo. The other memorials are brilliant too, a whole place dedicated to remembering.
What made me smile is that when we go, over the years, we will get to see life thrive in the growth of the forest. Life that should be thriving in our home. It’s a way of seeing Leo in a place where life does live. His grave will always be a place of comfort for me, but something about the poetry of a forest growing, of life living and combining that with remembrance warms my heart.