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The sad reality is that Covid-19 continues to take loved ones and friends from us. It has taken the lives of many in its present duration and with distancing and quarantine regulations, it has limited the contact and time that family and friends have been able to have with those who have passed. Dismally, loved ones and individuals dear to those whom we have lost are left lacking closure and the ability to properly say goodbye. In an effort to fill this void, the design for the Butterfly Memorial Project was developed.
The Butterfly Memorial Project encompasses the idea of remembrance and giving those who lacked able closure, a chance to finally say goodbye. By scheduled appointments, on a large and immersive screen, the memorial offers seating for family and loved ones to be able to sit and reflect on a slideshow of the images, videos and a collection of memories that their loved one once had. This gives them a chance to positively grieve in a way that, with hope, allows them emotional catharsis.
An enclosed display along the west wall of the space, holds 3 sculptures, 6 feet apart. Each sculpture holds out to the viewer in their hands, a flower preserved in a cube of clear resin; a symbol of life and the preservation of the spirits and memories of those we have lost. In front of these sculptures on the surrounding glass is a carved quote reading “Take a moment. Understand the value you hold.”. It is placed in front of the statues as a message, from those lost to the viewer, to always keep in mind the responsibility and impact you and everyone around you carries. It reintroduces the importance of doing whatever it takes to keep not only yourself but everyone around you safe. The cylindrical butterfly habitat located inside the space holds several live butterflies as a representation of conserving the spirits of those who have passed.
The habitat gives a preview of giving closure to those who have lost family and friends. The space is located just outside of a butterfly sanctuary, where the sanctuary bestows a live butterfly to the visitors of the memorial. Upon receiving their butterflies the family and friends are suggested to speak and treat the butterflies as if they were the loved ones they had lost. Visitors will not only be able to finally say goodbye but also have the chance to release their butterflies, as if setting the soul and spirit of their loved ones free and back into the world.
The Butterfly Memorial, for victims of Covid-19, is meant to serve as a symbol of unity, strength and as remembrance. It serves as a reminder that although lost, they will never be forgotten. The memorial encompasses the essence of those who have passed but also shows hope for our future. It must stand as a symbol of strength in community even in times of distancing. 6 feet apart but still together.
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