These trees stand in memory of the men and women we have known. They themselves discarded by society like weeds; some no more than saplings never given the chance to show what they could be, others stunted from poor soil or gnarled and twisted by harsh winds, others so poisonous that few could approach. Others flowering against the odds. Some, huge spreading trees beneath which others could take refuge and find support, laughter and even love.
Others again that should never have been there at all.
Each has had a story to tell. Often, it was a story that had not been told before, and which even the men and women themselves heard properly for the first time only in the telling. For here were people who, even in their darkest
of groves, found themselves thrusting up towards the light and reaching out to share with others on the outside;
the letter their lifeline.
A lifeline which, no matter what the men and women had done, stretched both ways. Remorse, anger, confusion, horror, fear all these dark forces crowding in on every side transcended by the simple knowledge that someone cared. And we, on the outside, humbled and awed by what the human spirit could survive, and by how much these ruthlessly cast aside weeds had discovered and had to offer. Not just individual penpals but entire families touched, deeply,
by this most improbable of shared journeys. We have been there, when the axe has struck.
May these trees stand like sentinels, guarding all that has so enriched lives on both sides of the Atlantic.
May we remember too, while marking all that has meant so much to us, those who lost their lives beforehand
and all those whose lives were so tragically and irretrievably changed.
Jan Arriens, Founder of LifeLines (Est. 1988)
and for my pen friend who lives in hope.
All far more than just prisoners on Death Row.
who was executed 13th December 2018,
a loyal and loving penfriend over 16 years.
inspires me with his positive spirit and compassion.
Thank you Jason.
A special person who taught me that true friendship can take many forms.
You are still missed. Xxx
a friend even though we did not agree on many subjects.
He killed himself in Nov 2009
after the guards sprayed his cell with 5 to 7 big cans of chemical agent.
Lil Dee, loved, missed, never forgotten!
May the Lord & your father welcome you in a loving embrace.
Until we meet again darlin.
It was a privilege to support you John. 'See you in heaven'.
Roderick Davie A.K.A. Zakiy
Bless you for your love.
William (Corky)Snyder died 2011
Your faith in God was a wonderful example. See you one day!
on the first anniversary of your passing 20th September 2013.
Rest in peace.
sadly missed especially today on your growth day
from Julie, Rory, Darla and Jodi.
from all the attendees of the first south east regional group meeting
held at St Mary's Abbey West Malling 10.03.2012
May you truly rest in peace.
With much love, Sarah & Steve Eardley