Project Butterfly seeks words of support for book

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Nelson charity Project Butterfly are hoping to help families who have lost a child by creating a book that will help them get through their first year of grief.

The book will include 365 ideas to help people celebrate their child, and the money raised from selling it will go towards setting up a grief centre in Nelson for families all over the country.
Project Butterfly founder Rebekah Malthus, who is behind the memorial butterfly path in Fairfield Park, says they want to create a book that will help families find a more positive way to grieve.

They need to raise $30,000 to put it together and print 1500 copies, and Rebekah says if they can do this and make some money, they can set up the centre from which they can run respite weekends for families. “There is nothing like it in New Zealand currently,” says Rebekah. “We want to create a completely free, Nelson-based centre for grief, where people can come for a weekend away and meet other people who have been through the same thing.

“There will be grief therapy workshops, we can give them tips and ideas, and vouchers to dine out in Nelson,” she says. “They can come here, have a real holiday and have something to look forward to.”

Rebekah says she has about 100 ideas for the book so far, one being her Project Butterfly memorial pathway which enables families who have lost a child to design and lay a mosaic butterfly as a tribute.

“There are so many good ideas we’ve come across,” she says. “The more people we meet and are exposed to, the more ideas we have. There are some really inspiring things that people are doing and just by sharing an idea you can help other people.”

She says that some of the ideas are really easy, such as lighting a candle every night at dinner time. Other ideas include photos, balloon releases, and the recent act of putting candy canes on infant graves at a Nelson cemetery.

Rebekah says the book will take “at least a year” to put together, but they will be starting to have meetings soon with some of the people who want to contribute.

The final section of the Project Butterfly memorial path is currently being constructed and will be exclusively for stillborn children. At nearly 20 metres long, it will include a mosaic cocoon and a giant caterpillar, in reference to the life cycle of a butterfly.

 

If anyone would like to donate money to help fund the Project Butterfly book project, submit an idea for the book, or enquire about creating a memorial for their child on the path, they can do so by contacting Rebekah at [email protected].