our story

Our Foundations

Roses in the Ocean was born when a young Australian chose to end his life on August 31st 2008.

A young man of 43, ex RAAF Fighter Pilot Combat Instructor and International Commercial Pilot, highly respected and loved by so many – gone.

Mark was one of the reported 2191 people in Australia who took their own lives in 2008, and is the brother of ‘Roses in the Ocean’ Founder, Bronwen Edwards.

Bronwen and her family gathered on Mark’s favourite beach at his home in Coolum Beach, Australia, and placed roses in the ocean a couple weeks after his funeral. The day provided an opportunity for Bronwen and her husband to speak to their young children about why their Uncle had died. For Mark’s family, it was important the children understood that just because you were struggling and sad, did not mean you would die.

We have to make it “okay” to reach out to others and seek help when “life” seems too difficult.

The Rose and the Ocean

Roses are a beautiful, dignified flower, yet their thorns add complexity, requiring handling with care.  They are symbolic of our deepest emotions: love, friendship, sorrow, hope.

The ocean, with its waves crashing upon the shore, and calmer waters out deep, provided a symbolic platform of the turbulence felt by people who are coping with a difficult stage in their life, and indeed for some, coping with suicidal thoughts.

Placing roses in the ocean is:

  • Representative of your ability to reach out and connect to others with understanding, acceptance and support.
  • Indicative of your preparedness to ask for help.
  • Acknowledgment of all the lives lost to suicide.
  • Demonstrative of your desire to play an active role in suicide prevention.

“My heart holds you just one beat away

the tears in my soul fall quietly every day

stay close, watch over me, from so many stars apart

roses in the ocean, you forever in my heart.”