The Friends of the Crisis Center, in conjunction with the City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department and the Alachua County Crisis Center, is pleased to announce the dedication of the Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden in the City of Gainesville’s Cofrin Nature Park. The dedication is Thursday, Nov. 14 at 11 a.m. The Memory Garden was built for, and is dedicated to, those who have lost a loved one to suicide.
Members of the community are invited to attend the dedication. Dedication speakers include individuals involved with the building of the garden, local community leaders and clergy, closing with a walk and tour through the Memory Garden, including the labyrinth and a remembrance area containing life-size basalt columns.
The ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. Following the ceremony, light refreshments will be served. Those wishing to attend are asked to park at the University City Church of Christ parking lot, due east of Cofrin Nature Park at 4626 NW Eighth Ave. Handicapped parking is available at Cofrin Nature Park.
The Survivors of Suicide Memory Garden at Cofrin Nature Park is intended as a place of comfort, meditation and healing. Judy Bousquet Broward, project coordinator for the garden who also lost her son to suicide 10 years ago, states, “Although most people have experienced the death of someone they love, suicide death is different. The loved one seems to have chosen to leave us and trying to come to terms with the questions ‘why’ and ‘what we could have, should have and would have done different’ to change the outcome leads survivors to question themselves.” Broward continues, “Further, the stigma associated with suicide and mental illness may leave the survivor feeling alone. Now, in Gainesville, we will have a place to connect with others and realize we are not alone.”
Whether a person has lost a loved one to suicide, is experiencing another type of loss or is looking for a peaceful spot outdoors, they can take in the beauty, comfort and reflection offered by the garden
Friends of the Crisis Center, the group responsible for building the garden, will also hold a Candlelight Vigil for Survivors of Suicide Saturday, Nov. 23, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
For more information regarding the dedication or the candlelight vigil, please contact Project Coordinator Judy Broward at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-213-6308, or visit the Friends of the Crisis Center website at www.FriendsOfTheCrisisCenter.org.