POS Retreat 2004
Pavo, Georgia

Donated by Faye Martin, Mother of Lisa,
as a tribute to the amazing fortitude of
the members of "Parents of Suicides.".

"Faye reads the poem "Willow"
 written especially for the dedication of this tree.
 The tree is a testament to grieving parents everywhere, each tiny leaf one of our tears.
 But, the tree stands.
 It stands through the storms of our grief as a living sacrifice to the children we will forever love."

As we remember them

Franklin starts digging the hole.

Brigid digs more!.

Franklin and Ronnie go deeper!

Amber digging
in memory of Sloane.

Bunkie pauses on the shovel while Franklin watches.

Jack and Carmen watch with others.

Brenda waiting on her turn to shovel dirt.

Franklin, Ronnie and Faye watch Willis dig dirt.


The poem "Willow" was a very special gift
from Allison Chambers Coxsey,
a poet and native south Georgian.
It pays sorrowful tribute to the unique pain suffered by bereaved parents.
Yet it also acknowledges the inner strength which helps us stand through the storms of our grief:


By: Allison Chambers Coxsey
Copyright 2004

In the garden of trees stands a willow,
A willow that weeps through the years;
Named aptly for heartache and sorrow,
Each leaf represents one more tear.
With grace those leaves blow on a soft wind,
To remind of our child gone away;
Yet it reaches its branches toward Heaven,
With the promise we'll see them someday.
It stands in the midst of the storm tossed winds,
A tree with quiet beauty and grace,
Like our hearts it survives through the worst of it all,
And will till we see our child's face.
In the garden of trees stands a willow,
A willow that weeps through the years;
Just like our child, it's in God's hands,
And like us, sheds countless tears.


 Sometimes very extraordinary things happen within a POS circle.
While participating in the tree planting ceremony,
Diane Day felt the words for another poem forming in her mind.
She immediately wrote them down.
As you read her poem, also entitled "Willow,"
you will see that it seems to be an answer from our children.
They seem to want to explain to the parents who love them so much why they had to leave:


By: Diane Day
April 2, 2004

You planted a willow for me,
You flooded the hole with water.
you didn't know,
but my life was like this
Hole full of water.
I tried to swim... swim... and swim.
It was so hard,
Each day I tried
To make it all work.

Day after day, I would start all over
Hoping by the end of the day that
I would still have the courage to start
over the next.

It was never enough; the pieces never fit.
I was so tired of trying; I needed to rest.
I did not belong in this world.

I gave you all I could.
I gave you the gift of my short life on earth.
Now I look down on you and see your sorrow,
Sorrow I put there with my passing.
I wish I could change things - I can't.

I hear you crying out my name and
asking, "Why?"
"Why did you leave?"
I was not leaving you.
I was leaving a world I could not live in.

Rest in the world of butterflies you have
so lovingly created for me
from your great love.



Marker under the Weeping Willow Tree.

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