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Watch an Ordinary Tree Transform Into a Vivid Tribute

Introducing the Living Memory Tree, a collective display of remembrance and love.

When you visit Lakewood, something bright and surprising might catch your eye. Proudly perched between the historic chapel and the Garden Mausoleum, Lakewood’s Living Memory Tree is a new way for visitors to honor the memory of a loved one and express their sentiments in a creative way.

The Living Memory Tree at Lakewood.

Each ribbon on the tree represents someone who is loved and missed.

A modern interpretation of an ancient practice

Many cultures have a tradition of tying pieces of cloth onto special trees to represent a message, blessing or prayer. These Wishing Trees, Peace Trees or Prayer Trees can be found in countries all around the world.

Here at Lakewood, the Living Memory Tree honors these ancient customs with a unique modern memorial that invites community participation.

An invitation that’s open to all

Visitors to Lakewood are invited to select a piece of ribbon (provided) and write about someone they’ve lost: A name, date, or a special message of remembrance. You then tie the ribbon on the tree — recalling a memory, shedding a tear or saying a prayer in the process. The experience can be as joyous or somber as you want it to be.

A living installation that changes over time

As the wind blows, the wishes and messages expressed on the ribbons are carried into the world. Over time, the older ribbons naturally begin to weather and fray, while fresh ones appear, bright and new — just like the cycles of nature and life.

Come be a part of this living history

Adding a ribbon and a memory to the tree is free and open to everyone, whether you have a loved one at Lakewood or not. As ever more ribbons are added, the tree will become filled with color, representing hundreds of memories and connecting all who have lost a loved one.

Help us grow this tradition

Ribbons are available in the main office (the first building you see when you enter the front gates). They will also be available at some of our in-person community events during the year. Visit our events calendar to see when you will have an opportunity to add your ribbon.


Call 612-822-2171 or email

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