COOKEVILLE – This spring, the Cookeville Regional Charitable Foundation will be installing an “angel garden” in the Cookeville City Cemetery. The angel garden will be a place to honor, remember and grieve children who pass away in the early stages of life.
“It is difficult to imagine, but each year the remains of premature, stillborn or even short-lived infants are not claimed by their parents and become the responsibility of Cookeville Regional Medical Center to care for,” said John Bell, director of Cookeville Regional Charitable Foundation. “The reasons for this are varied and emotional for everyone involved. Sometimes families simply cannot afford burial, other times they struggle to process the emotions of having lost a child. Whatever the reason, we would like to honor the brief lives of these children with a permanent resting place located in Cookeville City Cemetery.”
Currently one-third of the funds needed for a communal headstone have been secured. The large stone will feature a central angelic mother figure, flanked by two seated cherubs. The epitaph will read:
“Here we rest. The hands not held, the silenced cries, the dreams unfulfilled. Though our lives were brief, love eternal is given us not for great deeds or the number of our days, but just by being. We were here. Living creatures. Children. We were a part of this world and dwell now in the hearts of those we left behind. For our mothers, fathers and families who must hold hope within and walk through this life without us; we ask for peace, comfort and strength. Here we rest, together, and peacefully wait for a reunion beyond pain, fear and doubt; in the world that is to come.” –The Children of the Angel Garden
Donations are being collected toward the completion of the Angel Garden. For more information, visit www.CookevilleRegionalCharity.org.