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Healing through nature

The pause that loss and grief invites … it thrusts itself into our ordinary lives.

On March 31, Tying Up Loose Ends (TULE), the Maleny Neighbourhood Centre (MNC) and the adjoining Flexi School will be holding the official inauguration of the Journey of Life Grief Garden.

In 2020, Tying Up Loose Ends was approached by the Maleny Neighbourhood Centre and Flexi School to coordinate a Grief Garden space. The ongoing project evolved after a series of losses, both within the school and the community.

Since that day, the grief garden has been lovingly created with assistance from willing volunteers, Council, MNC, Barung, Forest Heart, Maleny Lions and many generous people in the hinterland community.

MNC and TULE are now celebrating the official opening on March 31 at 12 noon at the Maleny Neighbourhood Centre in Bicentennial Lane, Maleny. The guest speakers are Tegan Cheffe (National Coordinator of Safe Yarns) and Bj (Welcome to Country), and there will be a short meditation, and a local choir will join the event.

Grieving is a unique process & we all do it differently.

Current research points to the beneficial effects of exposure to the natural world in assisting in the healing process. This can be comforting and therapeutic, to help with many losses, such as death and physical abilities, and changes to our environment and way of life.

There is something that nature offers, that is contagious, it quietens and deeply calms us and connects us to the land. This has always been part of Indigenous knowing all over the world.

The Grief Garden is one of these spaces which offers a place to hold us as we connect and reflect on the different stages of our journeys.

TULE involvement in the community has incorporated educational workshops on death literacy and informative planning. The group continues to bring “Doing Death Differently”events, such as plays, collaborations, and group conversations on ‘Living and Dying Well’.

Their recently released website has a wealth of up-to-date innovative and cost effective information on planning for end of life, and ways to open up this sometimes difficult conversation. It includes many helpful links to supportive organisations and book recommendations.

The Hinterland Times has watched this garden evolve over the last few years, and on a recent visit, HT Editor Victoria McGuin was shown around the soothing, quiet spaces, dappled in sunlight, with wooden walkways over small streams and the shade of the trees creating a comforting cocoon for the visitor.

“It is a space to breathe, to reflect and to feel grounded in nature,” Victoria said. “I can see how this will become a valuable healing garden for the community. A place to think of loved ones, to sit with their grief, to let nature connect us to something greater than our flesh and bones.”

“I personally feel it is a place to be still, or to let yourself go, with no-one watching, no judgement. A place to centre yourself, and to remember that love never dies.”


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