May Special

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A group of people standing in the woods of a Better Place Forests location. They are gathered for a celebration of life for a lost family member.
FOREST STORIES

Remembering Andre

A family honors the memory of their son and his love of the outdoors.

Picture shows Andre whose memory was honored by his parents with a memorial tree at better place forests memorial forest in Flagstaff AZ
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A Connection to Nature​

In the heart of Arizona, parents Deb and Gary found a profoundly beautiful way to honor the memory of their son Andre, a vibrant soul whose love for nature and people knew no bounds.  

Andre had always felt a deep connection to the outdoors and the beauty of the forest. When he passed due to a tragic accident, his parents knew a traditional cemetery wasn’t Andre. Instead his family sought a final resting place that echoed his spirit and love for the natural world. They found their answer in Better Place Forests.

Deb and Gary, Andre's parents discuss the memory of their son.

“From his first steps…Andre lived with an unwavering commitment to making the world a better place.”

—Gary L., Andre’s Father

Flagstaff Memorial Forest, Arizona

Finding the Perfect Tree

Just days after Andre’s funeral, his family discovered the Flagstaff Memorial Forest and knew it was the right choice. They began the delicate process of selecting a tree under which to memorialize him. They were drawn to a large ponderosa pine perched on a ridge overlooking a serene meadow, with Arizona’s tallest peak piercing the sky in the distance. This spot felt like a celebration of Andre’s adventurous spirit.

“Andre’s legacy is not just in the memories, but in the continued growth of this forest, a living testament to his love for the earth.”

—Gary L., Andre’s Father

Flagstaff Memorial Forest, Arizona

A Celebration Amidst Grief

Waiting two years to hold the Forest Memorial Ceremony at this special spot proved to be a healing experience for Andre’s loved ones. It offered a chance not only to mourn his absence but to celebrate his life and cherish the memories shared.

Participants took part in mixing Andre’s ashes with the soil, a poignant symbol of returning to the earth. “This is so Andre,” they said, affirming their decision that they stayed true to their son’s spirit. Releasing a red-tail hawk during the ceremony mirrored a significant family memory, symbolizing Andre’s spirit taking flight into new adventures.

Find your Place in the Forest

A woman named Kris leaning against a tree. Kris paid tribute to her husband after his passing at a Forest Memorial in the Better Place Forests Flagstaff location.

Forest Story

An Everlasting Love in Flagstaff