Letters to Heaven

Posted on January 25th, 2024

The process of grief and bereavement is one that can be hard for anybody to traverse, but it can be especially difficult to explain and manage the topic with children.

In 2023, one young child who was dealing with the loss of her grandparents wished that she could send birthday and Christmas cards for them to read – and had a wonderful idea for turning her feelings of grief into action.

With the help of her mother, Matilda Handy came up with a special and moving tribute, suggesting the addition of a ‘Letters to Heaven’ post box at her relatives’ place of final rest, that would allow grieving visitors to post letters and postcards with messages of love to those that they are missing.

The process of writing down your emotions is known to often have a positive effect on mental wellbeing, including within the process of grieving; the post boxes, which have since been installed in dozens of crematoriums and cemeteries including within Essex, can offer a much-needed sense of comfort and even closure for those in a time of need – a way to express and process grief, reducing the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness that can come with no longer being able to speak with someone dear to you.

Anything posted in the boxes is private and will never be opened or read, rather the boxes are emptied periodically, and their contents burned, with ashes in some cases being scattered in gardens of remembrance.

Matilda’s touching memorial, the first of which was added in Gedling Crematorium, has recently been installed at Colchester Crematorium as part of their Queen Elizabeth Memorial Garden – click here for more information – as well as other Westerleigh Group crematorium and cemetery sites across the UK, including, in Essex, Basildon & District Crematorium and Cemetery, Cam Valley Crematorium, Forest Park Cemetery & Crematorium and Parndon Wood Cemetery & Crematorium.

Whether a chance to privately share those last words you never got the chance to say, send a birthday or Christmas card to someone you’ve lost or simply expressing the catharsis of expressing your feelings freely and without judgement, the Letters of Heaven post boxes have understandably been received positively and are helping grieving people of all ages. If you are looking for help and advice creating a memorial for someone who has passed away, or if you have recently lost someone and simply are not sure what to do next, we are here to help. Get in touch with our compassionate team on 01206 862 963 or email