Her name was Kimber.
She was going to go to Ali Dinger’s daycare by the park at the north end of Luverne. But Kimber died a few days before she was born. It was out of compassion for her friend, Kimber’s mom, that Ali began thinking about ways to remember and honor children who have died.
Ali often takes her daycare children for walks in the park behind her daycare on James Street. The new bike path goes through the park and in the far northwest corner, away from the playground equipment, was a quiet place filled with aging evergreen trees. It reminded her of the Mothers Healing Garden she had seen in Dell Rapids, SD. She reached out to her mother in law, Lisa Dinger, who has extensive experience with grant writing and networking. Ali said, “She knows people.”
Lisa also felt compassion for Kimber’s family and the many other families in the area who have lost children. Together the women began processing the idea and meeting with other people. The Childs’ Remembrance Garden board was formed and members developed a plan.
Lisa said, “It’s not a cemetery. It’s not a healing garden. It’s a place where people can go where their child will not be forgotten. We want it to be a place of grief and healing, but eventually a happy place.” The group hired a landscaper who will develop the space to follow that model – from grief, to healing, to happiness. Part of the garden design includes pavers engraved with the names of children who have died. “Sadly,” Dinger said, “In this community there are so many parents who have lost children. Seeing the names on the pavers will help people know they are not alone.” Ali added, “Some parents don’t have a place to go. They lost a child through miscarriage or their child is buried in another town. This will be that place for them.”
If all goes well, the garden will be completed in the Spring of 2022. When Ali takes her daycare kids for a walk through the park next summer the kids won’t remember there is someone missing. But there is. Her name was Kimber and she was going to go to Ali Dinger’s daycare by the park at the north end of Luverne.
Lisa Dinger & Ali Dinger
Treasurer and Board Member