A bench for Emily - Rachel Sumaria’s story
We decided to put a circular tree seat in memory of our daughter Emily in the middle of our village, under an evergreen oak tree, in Gloucestershire. Our village not only agreed to the proposal but also helped to raise £1600 to pay for it.
Sourcing a suitable bench was easy but finding someone to engrave an inscription into the wood was not! I was quoted £580 just for the engraving. However, eventually I found a company who had the bench engraved in Indonesia for a mere £75! The amount donated by the villagers towards the bench was more than the total cost and thus it was agreed that the balance would go to SUDEP Action.
The bench is engraved with the words “Mummy, when you die do you become a tree?” Emily Sumaria 1993 – 2012” which is something Emily asked me when she was five. After launching into an answer about bodies being buried, breaking down and feeding the soil and thus helping plants grow, we then turned into our driveway and she pointed at the tree in the middle of the drive and said "Who's that then?!" And we all fell about laughing.
Every year the garden at Littlefield in our village of Hawling is open to the public and this year I am so grateful to Mr & Mrs Wilk for nominating SUDEP Action as the charity to benefit from the sale of teas and cakes at their NGS garden opening. They raised about £810 for the charity. Despite the weather being rather dodgy, people still came and marvelled at the wonderful garden before indulging in the fabulous cakes made by kind villagers who also helped serve the teas. Hopefully some of the visitors sat on Emily’s bench in the centre of the village.