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New Angels Plot Glasnevin
Glasnevin Trust who run Glasnevin Cemetery want to clear an area of the cemetery that is known as the Angles Plot. This area is where parents whose children are stillborn, or who have died in early infancy can lay them to rest.
There are two Angels Plots, the older one is in the southern section. This Angels Plot was cleared and a grass lawn laid some years ago. My brother rests here.
Two days ago I went to visit him and because the 'new' Angels Plot had been in the news I decided to see what it was all about.
I never expected to become so emotional or grieve in the way I have.
Seeing the group of people who were gathered there and conscious that I had my camera I explained who I was and that I take photos in the cemetery for my own interest.
We got talking, as one does, and they explained to me what was going on. It is an understatement to say I was both stunned and shocked at the level of highhandedness and gross insensitivity that is being dealt to the parents whose children rest here.
Not all of the Angels Plot is to be cleared, and by that the Management mean that all toys, relics, adornments, headstones, flowers are to be removed by the parents or the management will do it. In the place of children's toys, religious adornments, plaques and headstones will be a Victorian Rose Garden.
Some years ago the cemetery changed the facilities they offered the parents. They introduced a headstone per communal grave which parents were offered the opportunity to have their child's name inscribed (for a price). This part of the Angels Plot is not being changed except to cut down the parallel row of Silver Birch trees from which parents hang wind chimes. These trees are at their most beautiful right now with the changing colour of the leaves, their lovely silver bark combined with the soothing sound of the wind chimes gently singing. The only reason I can see for their removal is to ease the work of the maintenance team in cutting grass, with no thought to the comfort the parents may take from the nature that the trees provide especially at this time of year when a rose garden would be bare and dismal.
The cynic in me says the management of the cemetery knew back then that they needed to change their system and started planning how to clear the other half of the Angels Plot after introducing the new system. They have been very remiss in their lack of care and respect for the half of the Angels Plot they want to clear. The ground dangerously dips in places, the trees that have been cut down have not been completely removed, also, if cut better would have made lovely seats for parents, or plant holders.
All the parents that I spoke to agreed the ground needed to be given some tender loving care and they would be very happy with that, as for years and years (in some cases we are going back over 30 years that parents have been visiting on a weekly basis) have never seen any action to landscape the area.
The management say they speak for 2000 parents who want the victorian rose garden, the action group speak for 5000 + parents. Not one of the action group that I spoke to were members of Isands (Irish Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Society) with whom Glasnevin Management are consulting with.
While I was there I saw a woman in her 30's go to a grave, remove dead flowers and a solitary windmill, and as she turned to walk away she was sobbing and very distressed. She took comfort from a little item like a windmill being left at her child's grave and having to remove it was breaking her heart. Another woman came up with a sheet of paper she had been given at the office and asked for help in locating the grave of her grandson. Her daughter had rung from the States very upset at all she was reading online and wanted to know that the plaque she had left was still there. It could not be found.
Until recently the cemetery sold windmills, small toys, balloons alongside flowers, plaques just inside the main gate.
Not every parent or relative needs the comfort of being as close as possible to the grave of their child, but many, decades on, do. Standing by their grave allows them to draw solace and strength for a grief that many have not recovered from and all have never forgotten.
Personally, I find the thought of a victorian rose garden as a means of remembering children the last thing I would associate children with. While roses are beautiful when in bloom, they are out of bloom for many months of the year, then all you will see are pruned bushes. While that may be fine in a public or private garden I don't find the thought of that suitable as a means of remembering children.
Having passed the Rose Garden of Remembrance on my way in with the warning notice from 2000 still in place and weeds growing between the rose bushes and how depressing I found the sight, the more convinced I am that a victorian rose garden is not the way to remember children, or a place that would offer comfort to grieving families.
I went back
Day Eighty-Nine: "How In The World"
"did i find someone like you
why in the world, after all that we've been through
If you weren't here with me right now I don't know what I'd do
In all of the world,
I found my heart in you."
-Family Force 5, How In The World
December 8th, 2008
This is the flower Nathan drew me. I colored it last night. I read this letter, like, a thousand times. It makes my day THAT much better, every single time. I love love love it!!!!
Babysat Gwendolyn today. :] I've missed her SO badly! I can't even tell you! I love that little girl, she's SO cute! And getting SO big! She's walking A LOT now! Oh dear...
Our house is OFFICIALLY under contract.
We went to Barnes'n'Noble to get a Wedding Planner Book. Yes, Lou and Eric are SERIOUSLY getting married in the Summer, mid-May I believe. Not even kidding. Crazy, right!?
Then, came home, did school, and freaked out. I have a 70% in English, 52% in World History, 58% in Algebra, 63% in P.E., 39% in Earth Science, and some failing grade in Spanish. I'm really starting to stress because it is FINALLY almost the end of the semester. And it's freaking me out. I am never ever ever going to slack off again. Goodness, I didn't realize how FAR behind I am now, because I've been slacking so much. Also, I will never EVER EVER EVER do online school again. EVER. Not even cool, dude.
Going to babysit some random kid tonight, during my Dad's volleyball game. Hopefully it gets canceled though, because it's snowy, and cold, and yucky, and I just wanna curl up in my gomies and watch movies. That would be fun.
No letter from nathan yet. ;]
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