Native wildflowers of the southeast region of the United States can provide a solution to roadside memory gardens prohibited by the state of North Carolina. I was deeply affected by this issue after witnessing a mother fixing her child’s memorial cross on the side of a busy highway.
I cannot imagine a mother or father being denied to place a cross at the place their sweet child took their last breath as a memorial tribute. The families may even want others to look upon a life cut short because of a senseless automobile accident taking their child’s life. North Carolina is one of several states prohibiting roadside memorials because they in themselves may cause an accident by people trying to get a glimpse. Another reason is the maintenance issue. Well I have an easy solution for both.
To lesson the impact of someone looking at a memorial cross at the last minute because brightly colored silk flowers or a cross have caught their eyes, incorporate into a plant bed. North Carolina already creates beautiful plantings along roadsides, why not create a smaller area for a family grieving the loss of their child. We can beautify our highway plantings and include memorials for bereaved parents. This is not a new concept. In 1965, the Highway Beautification Act was the result of Lady Bird Johnson’s efforts to create aesthetic native plantings. In 1982 she then founded the National Wildflower Research Center dedicated to incorporate native plants in natural and planned landscapes.
Some states offer a program that would cost families $1000 to create a sign in memory of their child. Are they crazy. Many families cannot afford that astronomical fee.
Those who have lost babies as stillbirths or early in pregnancy are walking memorials for their children who started their lives in the womb and also died there. Parents of miscarriage, stillbirths and other tragic pregnancy losses wear memorial keepsake jewelry, pink and blue ribbons and anything reminiscent of their angels. No one can tell us not to wear our memorials. I would personally have a difficult time hearing that the place my child died cannot be marked as the final breath of my child. That ground is now sacred with new meaning to a grieving mother of an angel.
Areas of the Southeast have many plant options for bereaved parents and families to install at roadside memorial gardens for their children. When the term “native” or “indigenous” is used the definition means that the plant was NOT introduced by another region and already grows in our area. Those plants would have a great chance of survival in roadside gardens of vehicle related accidents. A few wildflowers to try are:
These memorial gardens can be created for easy mowing and to not distract drivers. There needs to be another solution besides the $1000 sign fee for families already having to finance their deceased child’s funeral or memorial service.
Peace Love and Hugs from Above