Tree Of Life

Last summer I set out to gather pictures for this series of posts, which I’ve titled “Remembering Loved Ones”.

This mission took me to Sudbury to connect with family and friends and the Sudbury Hospital (formerly Laurentian Hospital and now Health Services North).

At the information desk of one wing an employee directed me to a beige wall stamped with leaves of various colors. It was not what I was looking for but, after a second inquiry, I was sent there again. I needed a dinosaur to help me, someone with long term institutional memory.

What I was seeking was “The Tree” which had been at the main hospital entrance years ago and which I called “The Tree of Life”. It was made of metal leaves (maybe bronze or copper) bearing the names of donors and others who had passed on. Two of those leaves displayed the names of my daughter Anne and son Adam. We had contributed the money that friends and family had given us in sympathy so our children could be part of this memorial.

I wanted a picture of “The Tree” for this post but it was gone.

As I looked further, I was directed to another wing where I found a volunteer about my age, a ‘dinosaur’ with more than 20 years experience.

He informed me that the lobby and the tree were long gone, a result of major renovations and additions. But he then guided me back to the wall I had first seen where the names on the original leaves had been transferred. Hundreds of names had been added.

I did not read every one, nor find my children’s names on this very long wall. My mission had been to get a picture of the commemorative tree. Instead I am displaying a couple of pictures of the new memorial, another gesture in memory of my loved ones.

The original “Tree of Life”, with my children’s leaves, lives clearly in my memory.

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5 Comments

  1. My prayers and thoughts are with you always Helene. I’m always so proud of you. You survived this horrific tragedy with courage and strength and have helped others on their journey.
    I truly treasure our friendship ❤

  2. Dear Helen,

    It makes me so aware of how sensitive we need to be to memorials.. and to contacting those who are apart of existing memorials before they are “changed” If there is an archive or records keeping at the hospital, I’m sure there would be a picture of that tree within those files. I pray you connect with just the right dinosaur who can provide you with that picture. Love you, my friend,
    Allana

  3. Il me semble que les responsables de l’hôpital aurait dû voir à ce que “tous” les noms de ceux qui ont contribué depuis la création de ce “mémorial” restent affichés pour toujours…rénovations ou pas! Les gens, comme toi, ont payé. assez cher ce mémorial, non seulement de leur $ mais de leur sentiments profonds… À mon sens, c’est un manque d’empathie de la part des responsables… Dommage!

  4. Ma chere Helene;

    Je suis contente que tu peux partager ton histoire avec nous. Tu a passer a travers de plus qu’une personne peut passer a travers. J’adore que tu partages tes histoires avec nous, sa me touche toujours au Coeur.

    Je pense a toi beacoup.

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