Suicide Memory Tree In Sioux Falls
KELO TV broadcast transcript, aired on December 12, 2002
(to read other articles, click here)

The holidays can be filled with cheer, but they can also be filled with sadness for people who have lost loved ones. It’s especially tough for those who have lost someone to suicide. Brenda Reeves’ nephew killed himself this past spring. This year, on her first Christmas without him, she wants to give other families touched by suicide some hope. To do that, she’s giving them two tall trees in her backyard.
Brenda Reeves says, “Suicide is really, it’s a tough loss. It’s one like no other. It’s hard to talk to people about it. It’s hard to get people to understand you never got your answers to why, you never got to say good bye.”
To give people a chance to say goodbye, Reeves turned two tall pines in her back yard into memory trees. Anyone touched by suicide can hang pictures, notes, and mementos.
Reeves says, “It gives them a place to reflect, a place that they can go to and know that’s what we're here for. It’s to give them a place to get together.”
By visiting the tree, Don Eisenberg connects with his grandson.
Don Eisenberg says, “You feel like you are talking to them I guess, you feel closer. We lost him when he was seventeen.”
Having a place where people can connect with a loved one helps in the grieving process, especially during the holidays.
Counselor Karla Harmon says, “By putting their names, by remembering them and the positive experience they had together, their good qualities as a person, you are replacing some of those feelings of grief with the positive memories.”
For Reeves, helping others remember their loved ones helps her deal with her own loss.
Brenda Reeves adds, “There is a lot of beautiful lives that ended unnecessarily, and it hurts. I’d just like to give South Dakota some hope.”
Reeves plans to leave the tree up year round. Anyone touched by suicide can stop by. They’re at 1413 East 5th Street, just off 5th and Cliff.
Home | Vision | History | Story | Coordinators | Perceptions | Poetry | Guestbook | Archive | Contact Us

© 2002, Memory Tree of Lights, all rights reserved.
Please report any technical problems encountered on this website to the webmaster.