A garden is taking root at Chapin Town Hall as an oasis for parents coping with the death of a child.
The garden for mourning, meditation and commemoration is the brainchild of a group led by retired Maj. Gen. Steve Siegfried, a former commander of Fort Jackson in the early 1990s.
“We needed a place to go,” said Siegfried, whose son died during a convenience store hold-up in 1988 near Fort Benning, Ga. “Sometimes, grief just gets on you, and you can’t get it off and you need some solace.”
The landscaped area includes 28 paved bricks commemorating children, with more coming as families learn of the site.
Town leaders quickly endorsed the idea when Siegfried outlined the plan in June, agreeing to allow the garden to blossom there.
Care of the garden is under the control of In Loving Memory – a support group formed by Siegfried and wife Maggie – with assistance being sought from local gardeners.
The garden is a welcome addition to a large area without landscape around the Town Hall that opened a year ago, said Cynthia Chin, president of the Chapin Garden Club.
“It’s a great use of that space,” said Chin, who lost two nephews a few years ago. “It (grief) never goes away.”