Discreetly tucked behind the Women’s Pavilion of the Franklin Square Hospital is a Memorial Loss Garden, the “Garden of Little Angels.” This garden serves as a place of solace and peace for patients and hospital staff as well as for parents, friends and family members who wish to honor the loss of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn death.
This Sacred Place was implemented and dedicated in 2007, when Nature Sacred was the TKF Foundation. In 2017, Nature Sacred reconnected with the Firesouls. It has been fifteen years, and in that time, the garden has supported thousands of mothers and families during the most critical and often devastating moments of their lives.
The babbling brook, serene pathway and colorful landscaping make for a peaceful and private, yet beautiful place for parents and families, to hope, to mourn, to process, and to heal. The loss of a child, an infant, is an ineffable experience that will forever change a person. The Garden of Little Angels not only provides a physical space, but also reminds families that they are not alone.
Each year, the Medstar staff hold their annual “Walk to Remember” a ceremony dedicated to remembering each and every infant life lost. Hundreds of family members attend, some from years or even decades ago who have made the event part of their remembrance tradition. A journal entry from the Nature Sacred bench dated November 6th, 2011 reads:
“William and John
Your mom and dad and sister, Danielle are here today. It is always nice to celebrate our “little angels” though it has been so many years (14 + 17) it still hurts. We think of you both every day. We love and miss you both very much.
This Sacred Place is not just a temporary place of solace and remembrance, and with the incredible work of the Firesouls and all NICU staff, remains a safe haven for families even after the wounds have begun to heal. For some, returning to the garden is part of the healing process itself.
“We continue to visit the Garden of Little Angels almost weekly as this provides the closure needed in a very quiet and peaceful atmosphere.” explain the family member of a recent patient.
The Garden of Little Angels is there for those hurting, for those wishing and hoping, to be there as the waves of grief rise and fall. The garden is constant, always there for those who need it.
We are honored to be partners in a project that has touched so many lives. In 2018, a devastating fire at Franklin Square destroyed most of the garden area. Nature Sacred supported the garden’s repairs, awarding our very first Enhancement Grant. Since then, we have awarded hundreds of enhancement grants, inspired by our ability to continue supporting the Garden of Little Angels, and with the goal of remaining long-term partners to communities around the country.
Presently, the Garden of Little Angels is just as serene, peaceful, and beautiful as the original, now with even more color vegetation, updated lighting and seating, and of course, the signature Nature Sacred bench with a little yellow journal tucked underneath.