Fishers' 'Angel of Hope' memorial will give parents a place to cope after the loss of a child

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FISHERS, Ind. – There will soon be a special place for parents to heal in Fishers.

A local mom made it her mission to bring an Angel of Hope memorial to her city to give all families a place to remember their children who have passed away. It’s a project she pursued in honor of her daughter, Allison.

It was hard for Holly Schwomeyer to heal and have hope while visiting her daughter at her grave site.

Photo provided by Holly Schwomeyer

“When I visited my daughter at highland cemetery there’s 11 other children there of all ages and they all seem to be right there together. There’s just too many children here,” Schwomeyer explained.

At 32-years-old, her daughter, Allison, had a seizure which ultimately, took her life.

“She was just the most giving person. To children, to the elderly, to everybody,” said Schwomeyer.

To honor her daughter who always gave back to others, she wanted to give back to those families who have lost loved ones far too soon.

“We needed a place where our children could be remembered and a place for healing for parents,” Schwomeyer added.

She found out about Angel of Hope memorial gardens. There are more than 150 memorials across the country and one already in Noblesville.

According to the Angel of Hope website,

"The first angel was erected in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1994. It was inspired by the book and hit movie The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans. In the story, a woman mourns the loss of her child at the base of an angel monument. Since then, communities have recognized the need for a quiet and healing place where bereaved parents and loved ones can remember their children."

“The monument is a beautiful, angel bronze monument that stands on a stone pillar and then there’s paver stones all around the park area,” Schwomeyer explained.

Families can purchase bricks and engrave them with their child’s name or a special memory.

“A place where they can have a celebration of life, a picnic, other than a grave site,” she added.

Lisa Knowles, the President of the Fishers Park and Recreation Foundation helped launch the idea of the garden into a reality. She hopes to have the memorial finished by the summer and host their first Remembrance Day ceremony on December 6.

“Fishers is so big on mental health awareness and as part of that, there’s a lot of infant loss, illness, accident and also suicide and this gives families a really great place to come and heal and hope and put the pieces back together,” said Knowles.

For Schwomeyer, it’s a space and memorial she feels was meant to be.

“On Allison’s one year anniversary on May 15 of 2019, I got the call that they had approved it. It was a blessing. Now my child is a lot closer than I’ll ever realized and then we had the groundbreaking on December 6, and that was her dad’s birthday, her dad passed away three years ago,” said Schwomeyer, “If that’s not god’s way of working with you, I don’t know what is.”

The fundraising goal for the Angel of Hope memorial in Fishers is $90,000. If you’d like to help with their efforts, click here.

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