How one woman’s passion for gardening is helping grieving families

Vibrant roses growing near headstones, curved hedges and wide-open spaces are what a Logan funeral director strives to achieve for loved ones who grieve.

Lisa Williams’ passion for horticulture from a young age took her on a journey from maintaining golf courses to creating landscapes for Great Southern Memorial Park.

Great Southern Memorial Park funeral director Lisa Williams prides herself in creating beautiful spaces for mourners to visit their loved ones.
Great Southern Memorial Park funeral director Lisa Williams prides herself in creating beautiful spaces for mourners to visit their loved ones.

“Never in a million years did I ever think I would work at a crematorium,” she said.

Ms Williams was a keen golfer from the age of 10 and was eventually hired as a greenskeeper on the Gold Coast.

By 22, she became Paradise Springs Golf Course’s youngest-ever female groundskeeper.

Tending to the grounds enabled her to play golf regularly, but it also cultivated her passion for gardening.

After 18 years of sport groundskeeping, Ms Williams realised the special effect creating beautiful landscapes had on people.

She decided she wanted to bring this into the larger community so joined her local council in Esk to help develop regional parks and gardens, before turning to a memorial park for work.

“I found importance in my work that I had never experienced before,” she said.

“My most cherished moments are chatting with visitors.

“They often thank me for looking after their loved one’s memory with such care, even long after their loss.

“It fills me with an incredible sense of pride that no hole-in-one could match.”

After 25 years as a horticulturist, she learnt how to place plaques, add headstones and care for monuments at the memorial park in Carbrook.

Seeing the impact of her work, and the fulfillment it brought her, Ms Williams became involved in cremation services.

Now a funeral director, she said cemeteries and memorial parks had shifted away from their reputation as “dark and dreary” places, which was helping to change the perception of grieving.

“I know as a kid, whenever we used to visit one relative who passed, it was like a chore that we had to go, because the local cemetery wasn’t a nice place to go, but that is definitely changing,” she said.

“I see a lot of visitors at Great Southern Memorial Park come from work or on the weekend. Whether it be a birthday or anniversary of the death, they’ll bring blankets and chairs and have a picnic on the grass.

“It’s beautiful to see.

“It’s quite important for me to make sure the gardens are well kept, because it’s always hard for them [mourners] to visit.

“As much as they want to see their loved ones laid to rest, it’s the environment around you that brings a nice feeling there.

“It’s making grieving a bit easier.”

[“source=brisbanetimes”]