HEARTFELT CHILDREN'S MEMORIAL
On the corner of Hillcrest and Columbia, on Concordia University's campus in Seward, resides a welcoming, peaceful memorial that will stand forever as a physical representation of parent's love for their children.
Heartfelt Connections, which began in 2002 to support parents grieving the loss of their child, realized the want of a physical place parents and families could visit to remember their loved ones. What began as a dream of the parents who had lost a child, became a reality in 2015. Through generous donations, fundraising, volunteering and community support - both financial and emotional - the dream of a Children's Memorial was actualized.
As you enter into the memorial, the crooked pathway symbolizes a winding journey parents go through during the grief of their child. A beautiful, optically animated, Lifetile wall creates a movement of a boy and girl running through a meadow surrounded by a host of butterflies.
At the center of the Memorial are three brick walls, Faith, Hope, and Love, which contain the nearly 300 dedicated bricks. Etched with loving inscriptions from parents to their children, the walls sit among flowers and trees. Children from communities across Nebraska, other states and internationally are honored on these walls.
The memorial provides a tranquil physical location that brings all the children together. Some parents are unable to visit their child's final resting place and want somewhere that represents that to them.
It is a serene location to reflect and connect with cherished memories. Visitors walk along the curving path and can feel the love in each inscription; so many memories reside in just one small brick. Every child has a life story to tell and it is an honor to share their stories with visitors.
"It is a wonderful place for meditation and comfort.
Death ends a life, but not a relationship.
Love never ends,"
- Diane Krieser, President and founding member of Heartfelt.
An abstract metal sculpture, "The Light", is located at the end of the winding journey. As you walk through the sculpture it provides a space for meditation, peace and prayer.
The certified North American Butterfly Association butterfly garden provides a haven for many species of butterflies and other pollinating insects. Butterflies are a meaningful symbol to those who grieve.
Everyone is invited to visit the Memorial, regardless if you have a connection to a lost child or not, it is a truly peaceful and beautiful place to visit.
New lighting, to better view the bricks at night, and a sign for those driving by, directing them to the memorial were lately installed in early 2020. The Board of Directors meet bimonthly to discuss further improvements and new flowers and trees are planted annually. Though the Memorial is built, there is so much yet to be accomplished.
The Heartfelt Children's Memorial is located at 115 Hillcrest Dr., Seward, Nebraska and is always open to the public, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Off-street parking is available and the Memorials is handicap accessible with benches lining the walkway to sit and reflect. New bricks are etched every Spring and dedicated at the Heartfelt Children's Memorial Annual Remembrance which takes place on Sunday of Memorial Day weekend. All are invited to join us to remember and celebrate the lives of our children, followed by refreshments and fellowship.
Back of newly installed lighted sign.