Planting a Living Memorial

Thank you,, for reminding me about the power of plants.

Plants are the largest contributors of oxygen to the planet. No organism comes close to the amount of oxygen produced by plants.

Life is in every breath. I learned that after I watched my daughter Megan inhale air into her lungs for the last time at Hospice House. When she exhaled, her life was over. It was Easter Sunday, 2008, at 11:48 p.m. I understood then that every breath I take is a gift.

The idea of living memorials was initiated by Megan in the fall of 2007. It was just an ordinary Saturday morning, and as we pulled through the McDonald's drive-thru after her Neulasta shot, my girl saw a beautiful tree with crimson red fall foliage. Without skipping a beat she said, "Mom, please plant a tree like that in my memory." In the fall of 2008, seven months after Megan's passing, my cousin Garry planted her hope.

That was not the only living memorial. With red being Megan's requested color, a group of loving friends descended on the front yard of my home and planted 400 Red Dynasty Tulips: 400 is a number that represents hope, and the The Red Dynasty grow the tallest and strongest in their class.

They came up so strong and proud shortly after the year anniversary of Megan's death. The display was so magnificent that drive-by cars would stop for a moment to take in their beauty. Knowing I was going to sell the house, my dear friend and professional photographer Cheri Barbian captured their beauty on film.

They annually bloom to this day. Thanks, in part to plants, we breathe, and life goes on.

Key Notes:

  • Consider giving a gift card to a local nursery as a memorial gift.
  • Memorials can also be made through the Arbor Day Foundation. Your donation plants trees in one of our nation’s forests.