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You may recall that my husband died in November, and that I had been widowed previously. The first time I felt called to create a physical memorial to my husband. I had three sturdy benches built and had them installed
in different locations on an island that he loved and where we had vacationed for years. On each, I put a different brass plaque with special words either about him, or words that he loved. (After that, I have not returned there.)

Now, I am considering another memorial. This time it will probably be a fountain, hopefully powered by a solar panel on the premises of the church where we met and where we were active. DH was an artist, was intrigued by fountains and had wanted to have one on the church property. It is my intention to have his ashes buried there.

Doing/planning this makes me feel better because I want to share the fact of their lives with others, in a more lasting way than the period during which they lived.

If anyone here has done, or considered doing something like this I would be interested in your experience. When I think about my plan to do this, I am aware that we did not have children together......... Had it been otherwise, perhaps my memorial would be different.

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What a beautiful gesture...I'm sure it will be very special.

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It was serendipitous that when DH's remains were finally found after 9/11, the Unitarian church at which we were married was already in the process of developing and landscaping a memorial garden with an open columbarium to hold cremated remains yet allow them to degrade naturally over time. Originally I had been planning to scatter his remains, but his family had objections.

DH loved water, and the original landscape design for the garden had included a fountain, but it had not been installed due to the expense (they were very sparsely funded). Working directly with the landscape designer and a local supplier, I helped choose a large raw stone which was drilled, piped, and fitted with a pump, and the supplier assisted us in finding an electrician who ran a buried line from the pump to the exterior of the church, where a switch was installed; the electrician performed this work at cost.

I endowed the entire cost, which ended up being just over $3000 -- fairly reasonable for a permanent memorial, I felt. Another of my husband's relatives has contributed annually for ongoing maintenance, about $250/year.

The members and pastor of the church have been very gracious in their thanks, and everyone seems to feel that the fountain is a final finishing touch to the garden. DH's ashes were interred in the columbarium there, and I cannot think of a better spot for them.

I feel sure that if you choose to make a similar endowment to your church, both you and your church will derive great satisfaction from the serene beauty it will lend to its surroundings.
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Scary: I, too, and Unitarian-Universalist and was married both times in UU churches.

Your stone fountain sounds wonderful. There is something similar, I believe, at the Heitz Winery in the Napa Valley. The stone there is from the old grist mill nearby.

I am interested in the open columbarium concept. Our church has bronze plaques affixed to the wall (overlooking San Francisco Bay) and ashes are buried on the grounds without markers.

You did a beautiful thing; the fountain and the soothing sound of water must be healing. I am interested in the location of your church. If you are willing to share that, please email me. Barbara
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There must be something about water and memorials...I created a pond w/ waterfall on my property after my DH's death, which I think of as the Michael Memorial Garden. The sound of the water lulls me to sleep each night, and I derive a LOT of pleasure each and every day from it, as well as it constantly reminding me of a very happy marriage and good life.

Best to all, Sock
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