The lives of those lost during the pandemic were among those honoured at the formal opening of the Good Grief Memorial Garden in Dundee University’s Botanic Garden, which coincided with the UK’s third annual National Day of Reflection.
Believed to be the first Botanic Garden in the world that marks those lives lost during the Covid-19 pandemic, the new garden will also provide a quiet space for anyone wishing to reflect on the life of a loved one.
Kevin Frediani, Botanic Garden curator, said: “Grief will affect us all at some point and does so in different ways, but the pandemic certainly helped to bring this realisation to the forefront of a lot of people’s minds.
“Visitors have always sought peace and tranquillity here at the Botanic Garden, but the opening of a dedicated memorial garden will allow visitors a beautiful, considered space to reflect on a lost relative or friend.
“We have been working closely with the local community, as well as external organisations, to ensure that what we have created is a sensitive, timeless tribute to those we love and miss every day. We hope that people from across Scotland feel as though they can join us here and find solace in this very special place.”
At the heart of the garden are four specially-commissioned obelisks, representing the seasons of the year, while the space is surrounded by trees, ensuring privacy for those seeking it.
Nooks have also been established, allowing visitors to find a quiet space to write notes of remembrance.
Organised by charity Marie Curie, National Day of Reflection encourages people to come together to remember loved ones who have died and support others through the grieving process.
Ellie Wagstaff, senior policy manager with Marie Curie, Scotland, said: “The last three years have been especially hard, and the National Day of Reflection gives us all a moment in time to come together with our friends and families at midday, to remember the people who aren’t with us anymore. Having this dedicated memorial space is very much needed and will provide a great deal of solace to bereaved people.”