The so-called wasted piece of land is a 14-foot by 6-foot space which is filled with flowers, gnomes, lights, and a picture of Daniel in its heart. Some of his ashes have also been scattered there.
Losing a child is never easy. Grieving parents somehow cope with the loss, and it is natural for people around them to show love and support. But unfortunately, the folks at a Portland housing association lack empathy. According to Daily Mail, they directed a grieving mother to remove a memorial garden she had build for her deceased son right outside her ground-floor flat.
48-year-old Emma Collins' son, Daniel, passed away in a quad bike accident on his 16th birthday back in 2010. Following the devastating loss, Collins created a garden on a small patch of land right outside her flat in Portland, Dorset, to honor his memory. But last Friday, July 23, housing association Aster Group called her up to say that the memorial was obstructive and even went on to heartlessly describe it as a "wasteland." "I got a phone call from a man at Aster Group and he started by saying he wanted to talk about the wasteland in front of my flat. He explained that because it was a communal area it needed to be clear," recalled Collins.
"I was absolutely disgusted. It felt awful. I started working on the garden last August and only completed it this month. I'm out there clearing the weeds and tending to it every day. The ground had not been touched for 30 years and nobody else has any reason to go onto it. It was an absolute state before I cleared it - we had to dig up all the tree roots and clear the broken glass and rubbish. They didn't object to that," she added. The so-called wasted piece of land is a 14-foot by 6-foot space which is filled with flowers, gnomes, lights, and a picture of Daniel in its heart. Some of his ashes have also been scattered there.
"Building the memorial garden in honor of Daniel was very comforting for me and I have scattered some of his ashes in it," she explained. "After Daniel died, my mental health was very bad and I didn't go outside, but the garden gives me somewhere to sit and I can chat to people as they walk past. I get compliments on it all day, every day. It means everything to me. I am completely overwhelmed with the support I have received and it has really made me want to fight to keep the garden. Some people have even offered to help me buy the land." Furious about the organization's heartless treatment of the grieving mom, a neighbor has started a petition asking the Aster Group to let her keep the garden.
"For god's sake leave this lady alone," expressed an outraged resident who identified themselves as Denizli. "She has lost her son. She pays the rent. The property is not neglected. Be ashamed, Aster." Following the severe backlash, a spokesman for Aster Group said, "We're very sorry to have caused our customer distress by asking her to remove the memorial. We understand that customers may want to add personal touches to communal areas, however, we do have a responsibility to make sure that they are kept clear so they're safe and everyone in the building can enjoy the spaces. We'll be in touch with Miss Collins to talk further about how the area is used and help, where possible, to find an alternative solution."
Cover image source: Change.org | Save Dan's memorial Garden