Pallasgreen sends letters to heaven

The bereaved can send 'letters to heaven' this Christmas.

CHRISTMAS can bring bittersweet memories of loved ones who have passed away. However, in Pallasgreen, the bereaved can write to their loved ones and post their letter to heaven in the local cemetery.

The Combined Residents Association in Pallasgreen is behind the new ‘Letters To Heaven’ postbox.

The group’s Facebook page explains that the idea was put forward by members of the association spurred on by the belief that “by enabling people to send messages to their lost loved ones, their emotional and psychological wellbeing will benefit enormously”.

Locals this Christmas are invited to write letters or send cards to those they are missing and post them in the box, the contents of which will remain confidential with no letter ever being opened or read by the living.

The communications will be blessed by the local parish priest and stored in a safe place.

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“Grief is a journey that each person experiences differently and strategies which work for one person may be less effective for someone else. There is no specific time limit on grief either and we understand that,” the group said in an online post.

“One way which may bring comfort through the grief is the act of writing down feelings or sharing thoughts on paper – whether that is on the day of an important anniversary or any other day. This is where we want to help.”

The association encourages residents to make use of the postbox on birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, at Christmas, or any time they may feel the benefit of it.

Located in the graveyard in Pallasgreen, ‘Letters to Heaven’ is likened to leaving flowers at a grave to make the bereaved feel closer to those who have gone on.

“We hope that posting a letter to your loved one into the post box will bring you comfort,” the association said.

“Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine – In the shelter of each other, people survive.”

Letters can be written anonymously, if preferred. The post box is not owned or serviced by An Post, so no address or stamp is needed and it is open to anyone who wants to write something.

The postbox, which has been described locally as a “beautiful idea” and a “wonderful project”, is sponsored by the Combined Residents Association, Noreen Stokes, Paudie O’Connor, and Joe Marsh and Son Memorials Ltd, as well as a number of silent sponsors.