For Sawyer’s memorial, I wanted to do something kid friendly and I wanted everyone to enjoy themselves. I didn’t want everyone crying and all of the kids asking questions, etc. We wanted to thank everyone for all of their support and love through all of this. We decided to do a butterfly release in a local park. We chose Tilly K. Fowler park because of the pavilion we could rent that was right next to a big playground for the kids. I ordered sandwich platters from Publix and the butterflies from www.butterflyreleasecompany.com. They came via FedEx in a regular box with ice packs.
When butterflies are below a certain temperature, they become dormant and sleep. Once they arrived, I had to keep ice packs in the box to keep them sleeping.
We chose to have them put in individual envelopes. We were able to chose the color of the envelopes and an inscription. “In loving memory of Sawyer Elmore. 4/24/16 Taken too soon but loved for eternity.”
The day before the release, there was an 80% chance of rain. Luckily, the weather was absolutely beautiful. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky.
I would venture to guess that thirty people showed up. Once everyone had arrived, we passed out the envelopes. I stood on a bench in front of everyone and said the following…
” Thank you everybody for coming. As you all know we lost Sawyer at 37 weeks The day after our baby shower. They have ruled it a cord accident. Although it is a terrible situation that we never thought we would go through, we have been so overwhelmed by all of the support and love we received from our friends and family. We truly could not have gotten through this without you. We just wanted to get everyone together to acknowledge what we’ve lost and celebrate what we have. Does everyone have a butterfly? I’m going to read a poem and at the end please join us in the release of your butterfly.
As you release this butterfly in honor of me, know that I am with you and will always be. Hold a hand, say a prayer, close your eyes and see me there. Although you may feel a bit torn a part, please know that I’ll be forever in your heart. Now fly away butterfly as high as you can go, I’m right there with you more than you know.”
Everone opened their envelopes and to our relief, they all flew away. Some were a little lazy and hung around on people’s hand or shirt before flying away. That made for great photo opportunities.
In order to keep Sawyer’s memory close, I made a shadow box. It includes pictures, a sonogram, a blanket with his name, the hat he wore in the hospital and the onesie he was suppose to wear home. I also added the chorus to Wagon Wheel by Derius Rucker. Whenever I sang out loud, Sawyer would move. When I sang that song, he moved a lot! Every time. I will forever think of him when I hear that song.