Memo­rial Gar­den a place for South Brook woman to re­mem­ber her son

Com­mu­nity care and sup­port bring so­lace to griev­ing fam­i­lies

Nor'wester (Springdale) - - EDITORIAL - BY CORY HUR­LEY

SOUTH BROOK, NL — The so­lace Barb Heath finds in a spe­cial lit­tle place in her town of South Brook can­not come close to re­plac­ing the loss of her son – but its bless­ing is im­mea­sur­able.

Heath lost her son Rod­ney 13 years ago. He took his own life.

All th­ese years later, it is still emo­tional for Heath to talk about. When her re­flec­tion on what the Memo­rial Gar­den means to her turned to her son, her voiced cracked and she gath­ered her strength to con­tinue.

“To me, it is a re­ally spe­cial place,” Heath said. “I of­ten go sit there and re­mem­ber him.

“It’s not only him. I like

to read the names, and it brings back mem­o­ries of this one and that one who have been here and touched the lives of many peo­ple.”

The South Brook woman is one of sev­eral in the com­mu­nity who took on the chal­lenge of build­ing the Memo­rial Gar­den. Found on the cor­ner of Spring Cove Road and Robert’s Arm Road, the mes­sage “For­ever in our hearts” greets visi­tors on the en­trance sign. Inside, there are benches around the open area and a Wall of Mem­o­ries erected in the back­ground. On th­ese struc­tures can be found the names of loved ones who have died.

Rod­ney Heath is a name that has shared one of those benches for the two years the gar­den has Barb Heath, Kay Kil­ley and Scott New­man gather at the en­trance of the Memo­rial Gar­den in South Brook. New­man made, do­nated and erected the sign.

been in place.

Led by South Brook res­i­dent Olive Mills, the group of vol­un­teers

turned an idea into a re­al­ity, ac­cord­ing to Heath. And the towns­peo­ple cher­ish it.

“It is very sa­cred,” she said. “It is very looked af­ter.”

Some­times van­dal­ism can plague com­mu­nity in­fra­struc­ture, but not here, said Heath. Visi­tors of­ten pluck weeds or wa­ter the gar­den, and clean up any lit­ter in the area.

“It is a spe­cial place to our peo­ple,” she said. “They have the names of their loved ones on the wall. They go there and it is very sen­ti­men­tal.”

Res­i­dents re­cently held their sec­ond an­nual memo­rial ser­vice at the gar­den.

Just as it took fundrais­ing to build the gar­den, fundrais­ing con­tin­ues to ex­pand or main­tain it. They also hold a memo­rial walk ev­ery Au­gust.


Peo­ple gather for the memo­rial ser­vice at the Memo­rial Gar­den in South Brook.


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