Special garden, art to comfort parents whose children died

Local artist Mark Fuller designed a sculpture that will be the centerpiece of a memorial garden in Palm Beach Gardens for parents who have lost children to reflect.
Local artist Mark Fuller designed a sculpture that will be the centerpiece of a memorial garden in Palm Beach Gardens for parents who have lost children to reflect.

It’s not easy for people whose children have died to find healing, but a new memorial garden with a thoughtfully-designed sculpture is intended to help.

The project on the east side of the lake at the Burns Road Recreation Center is estimated to cost about $145,000 from the Art in Public Places fund. Palm Beach Gardens City Council voted Thursday night to approve the project at the Art in Public Places board’s recommendation.

Leaders of The Compassionate Friends of North Palm Beach asked city officials to support the display in February, when local artist Mark Fuller described the inspiration for his design to the board.

Fuller’s sculpture is of two hands in an open position, with the shape of a heart removed from the center of each palm. A heart with wings floats between the hands. Fuller said he designed the hands in a praying position or a gesture of letting go.

Dominick Capodiferro’s wife, Barbara, made the garden her life’s ambition. The couple lost their 27-year-old son to natural causes. Barbara Capodiferro died after a lengthy illness Jan. 12, but the project was close to her heart until the end of her life.

She asked then-Mayor Eric Jablin to try to get the project done by Mother’s Day. There could be a ground-breaking around that time.

The Compassionate Friends meets 7 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of every month at the Lakeside Center, 10410 North Military Trail.

Palm Beach Gardens getting garden, art for parents who lost children

Local artist Mark Fuller designed a sculpture that will be the centerpiece of a memorial garden in Palm Beach Gardens for parents who have lost children to reflect.
Local artist Mark Fuller designed a sculpture that will be the centerpiece of a memorial garden in Palm Beach Gardens for parents who have lost children.

Parents who have endured the heartache of losing a child will soon have a quiet place to reflect in Palm Beach Gardens.

The city’s Art in Public Places advisory board approved spending about $145,000 for a sculpture and memorial garden with a brick plaza along the lake at the Burns Road Recreation Center. Local artist Mark Fuller designed the sculpture of a heart with wings floating between two hands.

About a dozen members of Compassionate Friends of North Palm Beach attended the Art in Public Places board meeting to show their support for the memorial garden and sculpture. Among them was Dominick Capodiferro, whose wife Barbara made it her life ambition to see the garden come to fruition. She died Jan. 12.

“This has been her dream come true,” he said after the project got the green light from officials.

The Compassionate Friends started in England in the late 1960s as a way for parents whose children died to support one another. The chapter that meets locally once a month has about 40 active members, leader Theresa Iervolino said. They’re finding the need is growing, she said.

The sculpture and garden will provide parents with a more comfortable, serene place than the cemetery to remember their lost children, she said.

Read more about the project on mypalmbeachpost.com later today.

To learn more about compassionate friends, contact Theresa Iervolino at 772-333-2315 or co-leader Stephanie Hesse at 561-882-1426.