Grief, Tree-hugging, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Beloved

We love being close enough to walk to Piedmont Park, and on a walk last November, happened upon this sign, surrounded by trees that each had their own ribbon and “Hug Me” label attached —

Piedmont Park: Hug a Tree sign

Kate’s Club Memory Walk

The signs were up in preparation for an event the next day, sponsored by Kate’s Club, an organization that helps grieving children honor the memories of their loved ones who have died.

Hug Me Tree-sign

And who could resist a tree with a “Hug Me” sign?

We have absent loved ones, too, so we took the opportunity for some tree hugging. And yes, we also love trees, so there was some dual purpose hugging going on.

Treehugger in action - Piedmont Park

Treehugger in action – Piedmont Park – No trees were harmed in the making of this photograph.

There are other, perhaps less poignant, reasons for tree-hugging… when I left my house in Kansas City to move to Georgia, I had my own parting ceremony. It was January 1, the start of a new year, and I was leaving for a new city. I walked all around the yard in the snow, taking a circuitous path to hug each of the trees good bye.

Those trees were a large part of the reason I bought the house, and it was hard to leave them. I would have hugged the trees when I sold my house here too, but the frantic rush of last-minute packing left me with no time to spare.

Do you suppose the new home-owners would notice if I came sneaking over sometime and hugged their trees?


*tree hugger — A slang, sometimes derogatory, term for environmentalists; someone who loves the environment and believes it needs to be protected for the benefit of ourselves and generations to come.

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Beloved

More on Kate’s Club; the Memory Walk is held in coordination with National Children’s Grief Awareness Day.

15 thoughts on “Grief, Tree-hugging, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Beloved

    • Yes! and I love what you said about keeping us rooted. It made me realize that one thing I do miss about not having a yard is access to roots, and soil (no walking barefoot in the city streets) — thanks for commenting — Sandy

  1. That’s a lovely gesture. Trees are used as symbols for generations of families and when you live with them for years they become a part of your life. It is good to recognise trees and respect their existence.

    • Reading your comment, I started wondering if maybe the Kate’s Club might consider not just hugging trees, but planting new ones as memorials. (and on trees-of-my-life, from time to time I still drive by the house I lived in 20 years ago, to see how the trees are doing)

  2. Love it. I planted 3 Japanese maples in my yard in memory of my parents and husband. Each spring when they leaf out, and in fall when they turn brilliant colors I know they are sending me messages of love!

  3. Oh this is so lovely – from one tree hugger to another. I spend time hugging trees regularly and find a renewal and grounding from the experience. Wish more people would learn to love trees and live in harmony with them. Love and Light!

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