10-Year-Old’s “Postbox to Heaven” Is Adopted by Cemeteries Across UK

Postbox to Heaven

Photo: fullframe/Depositphotos

Grief is different for everyone. Many people going through mourning wish they could have another word with their loved ones. That was certainly the case for 10-year-old Matilda Handy. After losing both of her grandparents within a span of five years, she had an idea for a “postbox to heaven,” so she could continue to write letters to her grandmother and grandfather even after they passed. Now, Matilda's inspiring proposal is being adopted across cemeteries in the UK so that others can continue to talk to those who have moved on.

The first postbox to heaven was installed at the Gedling Crematorium in Matilda's native Nottingham. Her mother, Leanne, asked for permission to put up the mailbox, and the staff was enthusiastic about the idea. So, an old post box was refurbished with white paint and gold lettering, along with a plaque that reads “Letters to Heaven” in elegant cursive script. “Matilda was the first person to put a message in our first memorial post box at Gedling last December,” Leanne says. This idea had extra meaning to their family as Matilda's grandmother worked at the post office. “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.”

Soon after Matilda dropped off her envelope, another 100 letters were added to the post box in the first week alone. The ability to reach out to loved ones in a tactile way brought comfort to many people. The idea soon spread to far-off parts of the world as well. “I am so thankful that our post boxes are able to help not just me and my friends and family, but people all over the UK and as far away as Australia,” says Matilda.

Westerleigh Group, the owners of Gedling Crematorium and one of the largest independent owners of crematoria and cemeteries in the UK, is dedicated to adding memorial post boxes to all of its sites. “We've received so much incredibly positive feedback from people who tell us they have gained therapeutic benefit and comfort,” adds Debbie Smith, CEO of Westerleigh Group. The post boxes are most often filled around the holidays, when the presence of late loved ones is most greatly missed. Matilda has even sent a letter to King Charles about putting up a white and gold post box near Buckingham Palace for people to send letters to royal figures like the late Queen Elizabeth and Princess Diana.

Seeing how much comfort this idea has brought will hopefully inspire more memorial mailboxes to crop up in cemeteries around the world.

Losing a loved one is difficult for anyone. The grief of not having that person around anymore is unquantifiable. This can be especially difficult for children.

Postbox to Heaven

Photo: HunterBliss/Depositphotos

When 10-year-old Matilda Handy's grandparents passed away, she had an idea for a “Postbox to Heaven” so she could send them letters.

Now, the white and gold mailbox is being adopted by cemeteries across the UK.

h/t: [Good News Network]

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Margherita Cole

Margherita Cole is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met and illustrator based in Southern California. She holds a BA in Art History with a minor in Studio Art from Wofford College, and an MA in Illustration: Authorial Practice from Falmouth University in the UK. She wrote and illustrated an instructional art book about how to draw cartoons titled 'Cartooning Made Easy: Circle, Triangle, Square' that was published by Walter Foster in 2022.
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