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Children’s Memorial Garden unveiled in Brunswick

BRUNSWICK, ME – On Sunday, May 5th at 11AM, Midcoast based nonprofit Madeline’s Mission unveiled a children’s memorial garden with a small ceremony to a crowd of approximately 150 people.  May 5th is recognized as Bereaved Mother’s Day, a day intended to honor mothers of children who “hold their children in their hearts, instead of their hands”.

“It was an incredible day as we cut the ribbon and begin this new chapter with our memorial garden,” says Amie Marzen, Madeline’s mom and the organization’s president.  “My favorite part of the day was when the bereaved siblings were able to cut the streamer and open the garden themselves for their brother or sister. It was such an amazing moment.  Seeing the families see their child’s butterfly also was a moment that will be imprinted on my heart.”

The heartstring and central feature of this garden is a butterfly garden. Fixed into a granite base, bronze butterflies will sit atop stainless-steel rods. Families will be able to personalize a butterfly in memory of their beloved child.  Artwork and flower-shaped marimbas will also make the space whimsical and welcoming.  Last fall, more than 1,100 donated bulbs were planted along with other plants purchased by Madeline’s Mission, guided by the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

The generous gift of space from Mid Coast-Parkview Health made the garden possible.  Located by a beautiful little pond on the Parkview Campus of Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, Maine, the Madeline’s Mission Memorial Garden will be a place of healing for grieving families. The ceremony to unveil the new monument included reflective readings/ poems written by bereaved parents, remarks from the hospital and artists, and the acknowledgement of the children memorialized with a butterfly by reading their names and blowing bubbles. There are meditative petal flower marimbas to play and enjoy.

“Saying their names is so important to bereaved families, they never want to feel as though their child has been forgotten,” says Marzen. “Our families are very excited to make this space a reality, and to have a place to come to not only honor their child, but to see they’re not alone in their loss.”

The project was made possible with the support of the community, including: Mid Coast Hospital, Fieldstone Artistry, Maine Dry Stone, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Lorelei Vella Designs, the Moving Company Dance Studio, Crystal Vision Tribute Band, Hanover Insurance volunteers, Bath at Play, and 100 Plus Women Who Care in Southern Maine. Through this generous support, scholarships are available for families that would like a butterfly but find it is cost-prohibitive.

“This is an ongoing project, we’re not done,” adds Marzen, noting that additional butterflies will be added to the monument twice a year.  “We hope to keep adding flowers to this space and nurture its growth.  It’s been very healing for our families to come and help add to the beauty of the location while reflecting and connecting with others. It truly is a green-thumbed labor of love.”

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