The ‘Postcard to Heaven’ initiative has been rolled out nationwide throughout the UK thanks to the creativity and ingenuity of a 10-year-old girl.
After losing both of her grandparents, a 10-year-old girl called Matilda Handy recently came up with the brilliant idea of postboxes to heaven as a positive method of channelling her grief.
The ‘Postbox to Heaven’ idea involved Matilda writing to her recently deceased grandparents, sharing her feelings and writing down everything she wanted to say to them.
The UK has embraced the idea, and ‘Postcard to Heaven’ boxes have been rolled out across sites throughout the UK.
Matilda Handy – a fantastic 10-year-old girl
According to Matilda’s mother, Leanne, Matilda always told her how much she wished she could still send birthday and Christmas cards to her grandparents to heaven so they could read them.
“Matilda was so used to being around postboxes and letters and always wanted to send mama one.
“A lot of people miss sending cards at Christmas time, and they find real comfort in sending something, whether it’s a child drawing a picture or an older person sending something to their loved ones… It helps with the process,” she explained.
‘Postbox to Heaven’ – has been rolled out nationally across cemeteries in the UK
After being moved by Matilda’s desire to send cards to her grandparents in heaven, her mother approached the Gedling Crematorium in Nottingham with the idea of having a ‘Postbox to Heaven’.
They were delighted with the idea and quickly erected an old post box painted white and gold for Christmas.
The ‘Postbox to Heaven’ initiative proved to be so popular with people that it has now been rolled out nationwide across 40 sites in the UK.
“Matilda was the first person to put a message in our first memorial post box at Gedling last December.
“We had no idea then that, one year later, there would be a memorial post box at every one of Westerleigh Group’s sites—bringing comfort to people all over the country,” explained Leanne.
The fact that Matilda’s grandmother worked for the post office helped make the first ‘Letters to Heaven’ box even more poetically moving.
Westerleigh Group – leading operators of UK crematoria and cemeteries
Westerleigh Group, one of the UK’s largest independent owners and operators of crematoria and cemeteries, shared that they received a massive amount of positive feedback from the first box.
As a result, they were inspired to install many more memorial post boxes at all their sites by the year’s end.
The Westerleigh Group estimated that approximately 3,000 cards, letters and messages have been dropped into the memorial post boxes so far.
Debbie Smith, CEO of Westerleigh Group, said that the legacy of Matilda’s idea is “helping to bring comfort to thousands of bereaved people around the country and beyond”.
She said, “We’ve received so much incredibly positive feedback from people who tell us they have gained therapeutic benefit and comfort.
“Initially, people thought the post box at Gedling was there just for Christmas, but all our boxes are available all year round for people to postcards whenever they wish”.