Kerstin and I have long thought about the question if we need a place to remember our children. We even brought up the topic in our support group. After several weeks of pondering our conclusion was that we don’t have to have a place to remember them. They are always with us. However, we come from a country that has a strong tradition of cemeteries and visiting someone’s grave. People are somewhat used to the idea that going to a dedicated place brings them closer to the deceased or makes it easier to remember. Only in recent years have alternatives to burial such as cremation or forest grave burials become more popular. In Germany I believe all cremated remains have to be buried though which is different to countries such as Canada where relatives can keep the ashes. In that sense there will always be a burial place in our home country.
After much debate, we thought it might be nice to have a place that has meaning for us and allows us to physically go there. It is really hard to explain why that might be satisfying. As mentioned, we remember our children always and everywhere. Why would we need this place? Maybe because it is a physical marker of their existence, something all the world can see in absence of our children. We are not entirely sure yet how it will play out, but if we don’t give it a try, we will never find out I guess. It might be a good way for our friends as well to be able to spend some time at this place if they feel like it. Hence, we dedicated a park bench in the name of our children. We only decided to do this after the perfect opportunity presented itself. We like watersports and spend much time down at the beach. When the new stretch of Jericho Beach Park was recently opened, including new walk ways and benches to enjoy the view, we had found our spot. It carries meaning for us because we spent a lot of time with both of our children at those local beaches while being pregnant. Both went kayaking and paddleboarding with us. Our bench overlooks the beaches, mountains, city and marina and we will often paddle by on the water. For us, this beach will now be known as Marlon’s and Tobias’s beach.
We did not have the nicest day yesterday and the park is not finished yet, but the bench has just been installed and we wanted to take a picture of the view. In the next few months our plaque will be added to the bench as well. Here is a panorama of the view.