Still a work in progress but nearing completion, the Memory Garden at the Eternal Home Cemetery in Colma, California is designed as a ritual and memorial space for families mourning pre-natal loss. As described here, the Garden will feature:
(…) a grassy green slope dotted with wide-set benches. Downhill would lead to a clearing, where a wide cement circle inset with the names of the Hebrew and Gregorian months would enclose a bed of exuberant native plants and flowers. The plantings would represent the seasons: bursts of rusty pinkish-red sedum for fall, paperwhites and saucer magnolia for winter, coral bells and California poppies for spring, yarrow and sea lavender for summer. A channel of water would encircle it all. In an act reminiscent of the Jewish tradition of placing stones on graves, visitors would be able to pick pebbles out of the water to hold and put back or to set down in a meaningful spot.
Nearby, a circular grove of redwoods—still small, but growing—would provide a place of reflection or a spot for a private ceremony. Leading to the site would be stone stairs of different heights and widths (a reminder, perhaps, that everyone’s approach to grief is different, that a journey can be halting and uneven, but that all paths are valid). A no-mow meadow of fescue grass would surround the whole, providing a feeling of wildness and peace, peace and wildness.
Donations are currently being sought for the final phase of this project, and may be made via this website.