By Kate Watson
The sunshine glistened on the waters of Sullivan’s Pond as close to hundred people gathered for the dedication of Dartmouth’s Children’s Memorial Dragonfly Park.
The park was designed not as a place of grieving, but rather one where the memory of loved ones who have been taken far too soon can be celebrated. And this sentiment was reflected in a ceremony filled with flowers and bubbles, and more smiles than tears.
The project was conceived by a small group of mothers in Dartmouth and funded by HRM as well as private donors.
“Too many families have suffered the loss of a child,” said Donna Shewfelt, vice-president and chairperson of the Children’s Memorial Dragonfly Park Committee. “We wanted this to be a place of reflection, support and remembrance.”
The central features of the park are two sculptures created in collaboration with Philip Prozenko from Atlantex Creative Works. One is a large silvery dragonfly and the other is a sculpted book that holds the following dedication and story:
The loss of a child is suffered by parents, family, friends, neighbors and the community. We dedicate this park in honor of the memory of our children.
The Dragonfly Story
In a pond, under the lily pads, water beetles live. Sometimes they feel immense sadness when a beetle climbs the stem of a lily pad and is gone forever. One day a little beetle climbed the stem. She was sure she would return home to tell what she discovered. She broke through the surface of the water and lay on top of the lily pad. As she slept in the warmth of the sun, her body changed into a magnificent, colorful dragonfly with wings. She soared and discovered a new world. She remembered her family and friends and wanted to ease their pain, but her new dragonfly body could not break the surface of the water to return to them. She knew, when it was their time, they too would join her and fly off into a joyous new life.