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Stand by Me Tree

Feeling the presence of our loved one by planting a tree, watching it grow and bloom, remembering them often, knowing you are held.

Photo of Joanita Pinto
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Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine the end-of-life experience?

Sometimes people die young, and suddenly. This is for the loved ones who are left with a void. One way to deal with that lost-ness could be to plant a tree for the person no longer there physically. (a fruit or flower they liked, or on a path they liked) To remember, and feel their presence, give thanks for them. With every season, new bud, and leaf, new beauty will grow, as will courage and strength. It helps bring the loved ones to acceptance.

Grieving people who have lost their loved ones, (especially those that died young) can find solace in planting a tree in remembrance.

Just the act of planting the tree brings them closer to nature, and a feeling of comfort. Also, it allows them to show their love for the one who's passed away - 'I will always remember you' . And brings them comfort in the fact that the person no longer there physically will still be there. Watching the tree grow, nurturing it, will help them get to acceptance, feel supported and not alone.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

My brother-in-law passed away less than ten days ago and when we discussed this idea, his daughter, through her grief, felt held and supported. We are going to plant the kind of trees he liked, and feel his presence, and also feel his soul in rest, and happiness. If people choose, they could have a little plaque/ slab next to the tree with a tribute to the loved one.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Maybe community could help with identifying parks, spaces that would allow/ welcome people to plant a tree. Also, where could one spread the idea besides facebook?

Tell us about your work experience:

I'm a life coach and counsellor, and a writer.

This idea emerged from

  • An Individual

1 comment

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Photo of NDEF Cameroon

Hi Joanita Pinto,

We at NDEF Cameroon have read with interest about your project idea. Hope you are forging ahead with success! As regards tree planting, what tree species are you planting? Are they trees to meet specific needs or just trees to cover the terrain? We believe that when a farmer plants a tree from which they expect to derive some direct benefits, they would protect the tree jealously. Such trees could be for fruits, medicines and spices.

What about using tree propagation techniques such a grafting to produce tree seedlings that give results faster after planting? In fact grafting reduces the fruiting period to less than half! Nkeng Pius (Executive Director)